Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Sansom, Richburg and Odom Charged With Grand Theft

State Attorney Willie Meggs has charged former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom, Jay Odom and former Northwest Florida State College president Bob Richburg with grand theft. The charge stems form Sanson allocating $6 million in the state budget for an aircraft hanger for the Destin Aiport. The city of Destin never had any interest in funding Richburg's hanger project. Richburg has private planes.

"It doesn't benefit him at all," Sansom said at the time. "He wasn't involved with me. I worked with the college." Odom told the St. Petersburg Times the hanger would not be used for Richburg's plane. That was contradicted by Airport operation manager Bill Blackford.

The shady deal worked like this: Odom leased a half acre to Northwest Florida College for $1 dollar. Sanson got a $110,000-a-year job at Northwest Florida State College. Richburg's school got $750,000 of start up funds. Odom got a remodeled hanger. The three men waged their plans in a series of emails. Richburg and Sansom had a private meeting to put the hanger in the budget. The hanger was (laughably) sold a classrooms.

My favorite thing about Sansom is him selling himself as a values candidate. This is the bill for a meal Sansom and Richburg at the University Center Club. Sansom charged the meal on his Republican Party of Florida American Express card.

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