At 4:45 p.m. today in the speaker's conference room, Rep. Larry Cretul called together the senior staff of the house and talked about the situation.
"He gave a very eloquent speech, said it was a very difficult decision because Ray is a very dear friend and this is painful for all of us. He said he is convinced this is the right thing for the House, the citizens of Florida and Ray's family," recounted House spokeswoman Jill Chamberlin.
Cretul said he believes Ray will be exonerated but in the meantime, the House will do the people's work. "Notwithstanding the events of today and the last few months, the challenge to balance the state budget is huge and the House will focus all of its energy on that," Chamberlin said.
-- Lucy Morgan