[UPDATE] Trial Approaches For Former House Speaker Ray Sansom

[UPDATE] 3-17 2:23pm -- TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) --

Former Florida House speaker Ray Sansom's is set to go on trial on corruption charges.

The expected two-week trial will hang on competing versions of
Sansom's intent. Prosecutors say the Destin Republican illegally
appropriated $6 million in state funds in a failed attempt to build
an airplane hangar for his co-defendant. The defense says the
building was going to be an emergency operations center for the
city of Destin.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Friday. The key evidence
is expected to include testimony from the Northwest Florida State
College's former president and e-mails between college officials
and architects, lawyers and others.

Sansom and co-defendant Jay Odom face up to 30 years in prison
if convicted. Their attorneys declined comment.


3.1.2011 by Julie Montanaro

Former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom is set to go to trial on grand theft, conspiracy and official misconduct charges March 21st.

Court records show this morning his attorneys once again requested that those charges be dropped. Judge Terry Lewis denied Sansom's request to dismiss the grand theft and conspiracy charges, court records show, but is taking a decision on the official misconduct charge under advisement.

Sansom along with former Northwest Florida State College President Bob Richburg and developer Jay Odom will be tried together for their role in securing $6 million in state funding for an airport hangar at the Destin Airport.

Defense attorneys for the men have also filed a request to individually question jurors about any media reports they've seen or heard about the case. In that motion, attorneys say they intend to seek a change of venue too.

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  • by Lip Cheese on Mar 17, 2011 at 07:09 PM
    Ole Ray got his day, oh what can we say. Willie be chasin the man... He outta take his money and run like a dawg, run, run far away. He could buy Slick Willie for $5000.00. I wonder why he don't.
  • by Skippy Location: Farmville on Mar 17, 2011 at 03:33 PM
    Willie Meggs is a nut! I should know because I am an expert on nuts!! The one who should be on trial here is Sheriff Harvey for running an illegal business, obtaining funds for an illegal business, and defaulting on those loans - then that bank failed. Sansom and Odom's charges are an opportunity for Meggs to grandstand for his re-eection campaign. The charges need to be dropped, AGAIN, and Meggs and Harvey need to be prosecuted.
  • by judge Location: fl on Mar 17, 2011 at 02:55 PM
    if i was you ray i would go to tiland.
  • by msit Location: Tally on Mar 17, 2011 at 12:02 PM
    @yet another reason......Many of us agree with you...Right not someone needs to run against Good Ole Boy Willie...Does anyone out there want to run??? I sure wish I had a law degree...I would do it!!! It will be interesting to watch this trial..Whenever it happens!
  • by Anon on Mar 17, 2011 at 11:37 AM
    Good Luck Mr. Sansom. You have been the target of Willie Megg's prosecutorial vindictiveness and I hope that you kick his butt in trial!
  • by disgusted on Mar 1, 2011 at 04:09 PM
    So isn`t Mr. Sansom`s legal representative violating the Constitutional directive of a "speedy trial by a jury of his peers" ? Stop the delay tactics and quit requesting dismissals. Let`s get on with the trial and live by that decision.
  • by oh my goodness on Mar 1, 2011 at 03:10 PM
    "Yet another reason" - are you for real??? Sansom needs to go straight to J-A-I-L, do not pass "GO" and he certainly deosn't need the $200... This man is no different than the guy that robs a 7-11. He just did it to every taxpayer in the state. I would love to be on this jury....
  • by Rightthewrong Location: Tallahassee on Mar 1, 2011 at 01:47 PM
    Half the legislators are in bed with the private prison industry and are making poor decisions with our tax dollars. The blackwater facility was built by the state for well over 20 million dollars and given to GEO group to operate for profit. They were given the best of the best inmates, who have no medical or psych issues at a time when the state had over 6000 empty beds. The state emptied and closed dorms at exsisting facilities to give Blackwater these inmate.
  • by Justice for None on Mar 1, 2011 at 12:52 PM
    What's taking so long. This should have been over with long ago.
  • by Abnormal Location: Tallahassee on Mar 1, 2011 at 12:05 PM
    This hanger was just the tip of the iceberg for Sansom. He also got the state to invest 20 million taxpayer dollars to build a private prison in his district so a private prison company could operate it. A prison that the state didn't even need. Now inmates have been moved into it from state run facilities that weren't full.
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