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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sansom wants perjury charge tossed



Ex-House Speaker Ray Sansom has already asked a judge to throw out the official misconduct charge stemming from the $6 million he put in the 2007 for a Destin Airport building. Now he wants the perjury charge dismissed.

His lawyer, Steve Dobson, asserts in a court motion that there there are no facts to back up the felony charge. Read the motion here. Sansom is accused of working with ex-Northwest Florida State College president Bob Richburg and developer Jay Odom to get money for the building that Odom would partly use for his corporate jet business.

"The defendant's testimony regarding legislative intent cannot form the basis of a prosecution for perjury. The defendant's belief as to the legislative intent behind the appropriation is immaterial. Legislative intent is conveyed through the language of a statute, and when the language is 'plain, definite in meaning without ambiguity ...[then the statute] fixes the legislative intent. ... In this instance, the legislative intent is clear and the appropriation contains no mention of the proposed building being used by a private entity. Thus one must conclude that the legislature did not intend any private use of the facility that was being funded and the defendant's opinion regarding the legislative intent is accurate. Any claim that the legislative intent is contrary to that which is expressed within the appropriation is by its very nature opinion and cannot be offered as a fact."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:17pm]


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