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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sansom files motion to dismiss criminal case



A lawyer for ex-state Rep. Ray Sansom today filed a new motion to dismiss, calling the state's charges that he endeavored or conspired to commit the theft of U.S. currency (aka $6 million for an airport hangar) "impossible as a matter of law."

In short, Sansom points the finger elsewhere, saying it was up to the Florida Department of Education -- not him -- to make sure the building was not misused.

Sansom says that the money went through DOE and was given to Northwest Florida State College, which was to build and operate an emergency operations/training center at Destin Airport.

"The defendants had no access to the monies that were appropriated, given that the Department of Education maintained control over those monies and was obligated to ensure that the monies were lawfully spent," the filing reads.

It lays any responsibility on the DOE for ensuring the money was used properly, and not as a airplane hangar for Sansom's friend, Jay Odom. The agency "was bound to ensure that the funds were spent strictly in accordance with their intended purpose and no other purpose."

Therefore, the argument goes, the charge Sansom, Odom and ex-college president Bob Richburg conspired to steal money from taxpayers is "unsupported by the record, given that the Department of Education had complete control and responsibility over the monies that were appropriated."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:25am]


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