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Sansom Hearing Delayed

August 4th, 2009 by flanews

A legislative committee with the power to remove former House Speaker Ray Sansom from office is delaying a decision. Members decided to wait until Sansoms criminal trial is over before moving forward with the ethics complaint filed against the former speaker. As Whitney Ray tells us, members may be a little reluctant to discipline one of their own.

A special investigator researching an ethics complaint against former House Speaker Ray Sansom found plenty. This report is full of emails, financial records and even a job application for a position Sansom helped create.

On June 10th Rep Sansom sent Dr. Richburg a three page draft proposal of a performance contract for Vice President of external affairs, said Special Investigator Stephen Khan.

Sansom took the administrative job at a local college on the same day he was sworn in as speaker. Sansom faces criminal charges for funneling six million state dollars to build an airplane hanger for a political contributor and then lying about it.

Sansom resigned as speaker once word about the college job began to spread. Now his reluctant peers will have to decide if the former speaker should be kicked out of the house.

We all have a heavy heart and I dont think anyone of us want to be here, said committee member Rich Glorioso.

The house committee agreed to decide Sansoms legislative future at a later date. Chairman Bill Galvano said its not fair to hold hearings since the key witnesses like the college president and the key contributor arent talking until the criminal trial is over.

We need to have certain witnesses like a Richburg, like an Odem, like a Sansom or at least give them an opportunity to present their side of the story, said Galvano.

The committee will meet again on October 5th, a week after Sansoms criminal trial starts. While the committee is waiting legislative staff will select an independent council to work as a prosecutor in the Sansom hearings.

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