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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sansom case back in circuit court after appeals court ruling

31

December

The First District Court of Appeals says State Attorney Willie Meggs cannot appeal the Ray Sansom case, because parts of it are still in pending in circuit court. Here is today's ruling.

"We didn't think the state had the right to appeal at this point," Steve Dobson said. Meggs said he had not yet read the ruling. But he conceded the issue still in circuit court is not strong on its own. "There's no case there,"  he said.

Jtusenote Attorney General Bill McCollum had filed the First DCA motion for Meggs. A circuit court judge did not dismiss all of the official misconduct charge against Sansom. At issue is a budget document from 2007 that Meggs contends shows Sansom all along intended to use state money to put a building at Destin Airport, next to Jay Odom's corporate jet business.

The margin note, with the initials of Sansom top aide Mike Hansen, said "per S.D. (speaker designate) to fund." A circled number 1 meant it was Sansom's top priority. When the item appeared in the budget, there was no mention of the airport.

Dobson said no one knows who created the document or where it came from.

Meggs said that the document is "just part of the proof of the misappropriation of money." But taken in a narrow view, he said, the note itself is not solid evidence because it's not an official budget document. "What's left is nothing," he said.

Lewis also let stand a perjury charge against Sansom. Meggs said he is not sure how he'll proceed.

McCollum's office declined comment, citing the ongoing legal proceedings.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:12pm]

    

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