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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sansom's boss Richburg leaves mixed record



DrBob-RichburgOn the morning the news broke, college president Bob Richburg sent a quick e-mail to his new employee, House Speaker Ray Sansom. "Article seemed ok," he wrote.

"It was much better than expected!" Sansom replied. "You did a great job and I am honored to work for you."

The fallout, four months later, is well-known. Sansom reluctantly quit his new $110,000 job at Northwest Florida State College, which the article had reported, and fellow Republicans ejected him as speaker.

 As a grand jury today in Tallahassee continues examining Sansom's ties to the school, some wonder why Richburg hasn't endured equal scrutiny.

It was Richburg who urged Sansom to get millions in state construction money for the college. It was Richburg who pushed Sansom to get legislation passed. It was Richburg who suggested a meeting of the board of trustees that has raised the specter of a Sunshine Law violation.

"Why is Ray Sansom the only one being brought on the carpet?" asked Judy Byrne Riley, a former member of the college foundation.

"Ray bears some responsibility," she added. "But the sympathy in the community is with Ray Sansom. I don't hear any sympathy with Bob Richburg." (story here and a previous look at how Sansom and Richburg worked closely behind the scenes.)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:33pm]


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