Turns out, there is at least one person who is now suggesting that very thing: self-described Sansom "friend" Don Gaetz, a Republican state senator from Niceville.
The weekly Santa Rosa Press-Gazette in Milton reported today that Gaetz has issued a written statement more or less saying that Sansom had no choice except to step down as Speaker of the House while the grand jury investigates him. And, Gaetz added, Northwest Florida State College President Bob Richburg also "should 'face consequences' for his role in the botched hiring."
Not only did Gaetz diss Richburg, his remarks in a subsequent interview sound very much as if he might be trying to shift the blame to Richburg for the whole thing:
"I did not know that Ray was going to go to work for Bob Richburg or that it was going to be handled the way it was. Had I known it and had I been asked for advice from my good friend Ray, I would have warned him off.""Warned him off?" Put aside the fact that Sansom really wasn't going to work for "Bob Richburg;" he was finagling a job from Richburg to work for the public. But is there a whiff of coolness -- maybe even disapproval -- in senator Gaetz' remarks about "Bob Richburg"?
It certainly sounds like that to us. Just as cool, in fact, as senator Gaetz' remarks last month to the Northwest Florida Daily News when he said -- rather crossly we thought -- that Richburg had never invited him "to a meeting of the Northwest Florida State College board of directors in my life."
Gaetz was, of course, referring to the college trustees "public" meeting arranged to take place in Tallahassee, as Richburg wrote in an email from Ft. Walton, because it was "the only way we can do it in privacy but with a public notice here."
Could the state senator be sending a signal to his "friend" Sansom? If he is, might that signal be, 'Better that you become witness for the prosecution than the other guy?'