Charges dropped against ex-Fla. House speaker

AP News
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Posted: Mar 25, 2011 3:22 PM
Charges dropped against ex-Fla. House speaker

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.