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Dismissal Decision Delayed

September 9th, 2009 by flanews

A Leon County Judge is delaying a decision about whether or not to dismiss the criminal trial of former House Speaker Ray Sansom. Sansom and his two co-defendants were in court today asking the judge for separate trials. As Whitney Ray tells us, even if the criminal trial is dropped, Sansom faces ethics complaints in the House and a call from Republicans to resign from the state legislature.

Former House Speaker Ray Sansom, former College President Bob Richburg and developer Jay Odom walked into the courtroom together to ask a judge for separate trials.

I cant imagine a situation where all the evidence that is introduced as one wont be introduced at a separate trial to the other person, I dont see any prejudice there, said Circuit Judge Terry Lewis.

The judge is expected try the men together that is if he rules against their motions to dismiss the cases. A ruling is expected next week, but even if the criminal trial is dropped, Sansoms trials arent over. A house committee will meet in early October a House committee. They could recommend expulsion for the embattled lawmaker.

A State Ethics commission and the FBI are also investigating Sansoms role in a plan to use six million state dollars to build a Destin airplane hanger for Odom. Republicans in neighboring Bay County arent waiting on the results. They want Sansom to step down now. Sansom referred all questions about the request to his attorney.

Let me just say the people of Bay County are not in this district. It was about 29 people out of a population of 200 thousand, said Steve Dobson.

The Bay County Republicans say if Sansom steps down now he could save the party a lot of embarrassment. The judge has given the defense until Friday to file more paperwork in the dismissal hearing. Hes expected to make a decision next week. If the judge denies the motion for dismissal, the criminal trial will begin September 29th.

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legislature, Sansom, State Budget, State News | No Comments »

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