Sansom Dismissal Decision Delayed
Tallahassee Judge Terry Lewis is delaying a decision about whether or not to dismiss the criminal trial of former House Speaker Ray Sansom. Sansom-- along with his two codefendants, former College President Bob Richberg and developer Jay Odem-- walked into the courtroom together to ask a judge for separate trials.
The judge has given the defense until Friday to file more paperwork in the dismissal hearing. He’s expected to make a decision next week. If the judge denies the motion for dismissal, the criminal trial will begin Sept. 29.
However, even if the criminal trial is dropped, Sansom’s trials aren’t over. A house committee will meet in early October, and they could recommend impeachment for the embattled lawmaker.
A State Ethics commission and the FBI are also investigating Sansom’s role in a plan to use 6 million state dollars to build a Destin airplane hangar for Odem. Republicans in neighboring Bay County aren’t waiting on the results. They want Sansom to step down now.
When asked about the case(s) Terry Lewis said, “I can’t imagine a situation where all the evidence that is introduced as one won’t be introduced at a separate trial to the other person; I don’t see any prejudice there.”
The judge is expected to try the men together, unless he rules against their motion to dismiss the case. A ruling is expected by next week.
The Bay County Republicans say if Sansom steps down now he could save the party a lot of embarrassment.
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