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Sansom case dispatched in minutes

The House Select Committee on Standards of Official Conduct moments ago formally dispatched complaint 09-01. Because of Rep. Ray Sansom's resignation, "further action by this committee is rendered moot," chairman Bill Galvano said.

The meeting lasted only minutes. Sansom attorney Glorida Fletcher afterward said the process was unfair because Sansom faces an ongoing criminal case and invoked his right not testify (nor would co-defendants, Jay Odom and Bob Richburg). She blasted it as politically motivated.

"I think it was a very, very fair process," Galvano said. "We are in unprecedented territory. I can't remember the last time that the House has gone this far with a due process procedure leading up to a hearing."

Galvano would not address whether he thought Sansom broke the rules. "We didn't have an evidentiary hearing. I have come in here today understanding that any violation would have had to been proved by clear and convincing evidence so that's where I'm going to leave it. I'm going to respect the resignation," he said. 

But said he thought the budget process is now more transparent and suggested more changes could come.

Rep. Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City and a member of the five-member panel, said he was disappointed the case could not be heard. "Nothing was proven, that's what I was looking for today. I wanted see the evidence come out, I wanted to hear it. ... It leaves a lot of voids where in my mind, was there anything wrong, how was it wrong, was it all perceptions, was there some other things that were wrong. I wanted to see the evidence."