The Florida Commission on Ethics has dropped former House Speaker Ray Sansom's complaint against Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs. The commission dismissed it without investigation, which happens with about half of all complaints.
"The commission's reviews for legal sufficiency are limited to questions of jurisdiction and determinations as to whether the charges in the complaint are adequate to allege a violation of the code of ethics," the commission said in a release. "As no factual investigation precedes the reviews, the commission's conclusions do not reflect on the accuracy of the allegations made in these complaints."
Sansom was criminally charged for his role in securing $6 million in state funding for an airport building in Destin that a businessman wanted to use. Meggs dropped the case against Sansom and a co-defendant, developer Jay Odom, mid trial in March, saying he could not continue due to the judge limiting testimony from a key witness. Sansom and Odom each paid $103,000 restitution without admission of guilt.
Sansom's complaint contained six allegations against Meggs, including that he manipulated the grand jury process to get indictments and released testimony that was not public. The complaints largely mirrored ones he made to the circuit court, which dismissed his motion while faulting Meggs for some inflammatory comments.
Sansom himself was the subject of an Ethics Commission probe over the same issue Meggs looked into plus other dealings with the state college, where Sansom took an unadvertised, $110,000 job on the same day he was sworn in as House speaker in 2008.
But because Sansom resigned from the Legislature on the eve of a trial of his peers and because the criminal case had been resolved, the Ethics Commission dropped its lengthy investigation.