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Samson Troubles Sent to Grand Jury

January 8th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

House Speaker Ray Sansom’s dealings with a Destin developer and his home town college will be taken to a grand jury later this month. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the State Attorney in Tallahassee decided to take the case to the Grand Jury after several citizens complained.

Hear it Here: Sansom Trouble

House Speaker Ray Sansom gaveled the House into session without saying a word about his latest troubles.

Sansom has been under fire for funneling more than 25 million to his hometown college, then accepting a six-figure job.

Even more concerning is six million dollars set aside for an aircraft hanger to be used by a developer friend who gave more than half a million to the Republican Party.

State Attorney Willie Meggs, who’s circuit includes the capitol, says it will be up to a grand jury to decide if the dealings pass the smell test.

“I don’t know what passes. I don’t know much about it,” Meggs said. “All I know about it is what I read in the paper and in the media, and seen on TV. But I had a complaint, and I can do it many different ways, and this is the way I choose to start out.”

Meggs decided to refer the political hot potato to the grand jury after receiving two complaints. Orthopedic Surgeon Ray Bellamy was one of the two who spoke out.

“The Governor would say ‘no comment.’ The Attorney General would say he had no jurisdiction,” Bellamy said.

David Plyer, a Clearwater Democrat, filed the other complaint.

“You have this fellow Samson, spending my money, our money, on projects that seem to suit his fancy,” Plyer said.

The Grand Jury could do nothing, it could recommend changes in the law, or it could find a crime had been committed.

Grand Jurors aren’t even sworn in yet. That will take place January 26th.

Sansom quit the college job on Monday, and got a standing ovation from his republican colleagues.

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