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Crist: Tossing of Sansom count shows 'system works'

Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday that a state judge's decision to dismiss official misconduct charges against Rep. Ran Sansom and two others is proof that the judicial system works properly.

"The judicial system works. It hopefully works effectively and well," Crist said. "Everyone is innocent till proven guilty, and I think there's some more outstanding issues as I understand it. We have a good system of justice."

Sansom, R-Destin, and developer Jay Odom still face perjury charges. Trial before Circuit Judge Terry Lewis is scheduled for Oct. 26. Asked if the Sansom affair has been damaging to the Republican Party, Crist said:  "I don't think so. When they dismiss charges, I think that's an improvement."

State Attorney Willie Meggs wants Attorney General Bill McCollum to appeal Lewis' dismissal of counts against Sansom, Odom and former Northwest Florida State College President Bob Richburg. Asked if McCollum should follow through with an appeal, Crist said:  "I think that's up to the attorney general. I got enough on my plate."

-- Steve Bousquet