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Former state technology chief acquitted of grand theft charge

Roy Cales, who once ran the state's technology office for Gov. Jeb Bush, has been found innocent on the grand theft charge that caused him to step down.

Cales, 41, was accused of falsifying a letter in 1996 to persuade a bank to lend him $36,600 for a computer business he ran at the time. Cales and his wife and business partner, Dawn, defaulted on the loan and declared bankruptcy.

Cales left his $95,000-a-year position after a complaint was filed against him in 2000 with the Leon County Sheriff's Office. Bank officials said they did not pursue charges earlier against Cales because he had suffered a stroke in 1997.

Although Cales was also accused of embezzling $1,800 from a lumber store where he worked in 1985, he was hired by Bush in 1999 and given authority over some 1,760 state technology workers and a $600-million annual budget. Cales had repaid the lumber store.

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