Monday, February 22, 2010

Ray Sansom Resigns to Avoid Ethics Hearing

Northwest Florida state representative Ray Sansom (R-Ft. Walton Beach) resigned his seat at 8 pm last night rather than proceed with the state ethics hearing he had requested. As the Miami Herald explains:
The panel of Sansom's peers -- three fellow Republicans and two Democrats -- were to review over the next few days the millions of dollars he quietly steered to the college before taking an unadvertised $110,000 job with it.
Progressive Pensacola has the resignation letter. In it, the ethically-challenged former speaker of the Florida House has the nerve to add, "[T]he time will come where I will be afforded an opportunity to fully answer all questions and I anxiously await an opportunity to do so."

Whaaat? Run that by us again. The ethics hearing Sansom requested was set to start today. In Florida, there is no more forgiving forum than a state ethics hearing of a pol by the pols, where free passes are handed out even to convicted felons and a slap-on-the-wrist is considered almost unthinkable capital punishment.

And that wasn't "an opportunity" to answer the corruption charges? If you swallow that, then you also believe the $173,000 in charges (including a trip to Europe) that Sansom racked up on "a Republican Party-issued American Express card" was for the benefit of his Okaloosa County constituents. And, you probably believe that $6 million aircraft hangar Sansom ripped off taxpayers for was to be used by college students, not his developer friend Jay Odom.

Sansom still faces felony charges growing out of the scandal. And, right-wing gubernatorial candidate Marco Rubio still faces questions over all the ways he enabled Sansom to hijack public and GOP money.

Tampa has archived stories on the whole sorry mess.

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