Friday, March 25, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped corruption charges against a former Florida House speaker accused of scheming to get state money to build an airport hangar for a major Republican donor.
Ray Sansom’s trial was under way in Tallahassee when a judge rejected a key witness and the prosecutor said he could not continue.
The judge dropped the charges against Sansom and co-defendant Jay Odom after they agreed to pay $103,000 in restitution.
Sansom had been charged with scheming to get a $6 million state budget appropriation in 2007 to build a hangar at the Destin airport for Odom, a local businessman and major Republican donor. Defense lawyers said the money was for a much-needed and hurricane-proof emergency operations center for the city of Destin.