Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sansom wants House investigation put on ice



Ray Sansom's lawyer wants the House to put a hold on its investigation of his dealings with Northwest Florida State College, citing ongoing state court proceedings.

"In deference to due process and to ensure that Representative Sansom's rights are protected, we would request that testimony from key witnesses not be heard by the select committee and that salient documents not be presented," attorney Steve Dobson wrote in a letter to House Speaker Larry Cretul on Thursday. "At this time, any investigation undertaken by the independent counsel of the committee has the potential to jeopardize Representative Sansom's criminal case and perpetuate the creation of unduly prejudicial pretrial media coverage which could prevent Representative Sansom from obtaining an impartial jury panel."

In seeking a stay, Dobson said Sansom has made "professional and personal sacrifices" in recent months. "Out of respect for his legislative colleagues and the Florida House of Representatives, he stepped down from his post as speaker and resigned from his position with Northwest Florida State College."

Cretul forwarded the letter to the select committee, which meets next on Nov. 5. Meantime, prosecutor Melanie Hines continues to collect information, including case work from State Attorney Willie Meggs.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:24pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours