Sansom's farewell: 'I am proud of my efforts'
Former House Speaker Ray Sansom, whose free-fall from power ended with his resignation last Sunday on the eve of a disciplinary hearing, has written a lengthy farewell letter to his colleagues. In the eight-page letter, Sansom says: "I lost all faith and confidence in the likelihood that I would receive a fair and just disposition of this matter in front of the House Select Committee." He also:
* Criticizes Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, chairman of the House committee that investigated Sansom, for allowing a citizen complaint to move forward, even though she lacked personal knowledge of the details, which Sansom said "directly contravenes House rules." Galvano also "showed very little concern" with Sansom's ability to get a fair criminal trial by denying Sansom's requests for delays, he writes.
* Faults Rep. Joe Gibbons, D-Hallandale Beach, another member of the panel, for making "statements to the press which demonstrated an inability to remain impartial."
* Summarizes complainant Susan Smith's deposition in which she says she worked with Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff in preparing her complaint.
Sansom also mentions the fact that many other legislators also work for colleges and universities: "I am troubled by the fact that I have been singled out for such harsh treatment when my only failing was the fulfillment of my duty to better serve my district. ... I am proud of my efforts on behalf of the college."