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Feds Ask Questions about Prison Deal

April 23rd, 2010 by flanews

The FBI is asking question about former House Speaker Ray Sansoms involvement with a legislative deal to build a private prison. The news comes as the feds investigate Sansom, Marco Rubio, and former GOP Chairman Jim Greer for spending millions on Republican Party of Florida credit cards. As Whitney Ray tells us, the trouble for the GOP keeps growing.

A legislative plan to close as many as five state prisons and ship inmates to a private prison run by GEO Group was scaled back last month by public out cry.

Former House Speaker Ray Sansom originated the deal with an amendment in the 2008 state budget.

On March 30th, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the US Attorneys Office calling for an investigation. A source familiar with the complaint says the FBI has been asking questions. A GEO Group Lobbyist says the feds havent questioned him.

I never heard anything like that at all, said Smith.

According to our source the feds may be searching to see if Sansom received any kickbacks from the company. GEO Group, formally known as Wackenhut, gave Sansoms campaign 500 hundred dollars for his 2007 campaign.

The company gave 145-thousand dollars to the Republican Party of Florida in 2008, and another 130-thousand in 2009. Neither Sansoms lawyer nor the FBI returned our requests for interviews.

Plans to house 22-hundred inmates in the private prison are moving forward in this years budget negotiations. The Police Benevolent Association says lawmakers should halt the prison plan.

The legislature would be smart to the taxpayers if they stopped this deal and took another look at it, said Puckett.

Earlier this week news broke of an FBI investigation into spending by Sansom, and several other high ranking Republicans on party issued credit cards. Questions about the prison deal may have spawned from their current investigation.

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legislature, Sansom, State Budget, State News | 1 Comment »

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