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Sansom wants Rep. Joe Gibbons off panel

UPDATE: Committee chairman Bill Galvano said he is reviewing the motion. But he said committee only makes a recommendation that is voted on by the entire House. “Ultimately, every member of the body will have the ability to be part of the decision, one way or another,” Galvano said.


Ray Sansom says Rep. Joe Gibbons should be removed from the panel investigating Sansom's dealings with a Panhandle College, asserting the Hallandale Beach Democrat has a conflict of interest and has made biased comments to the media. Motion is here.

4400 Gibbons, left, works for Akerman Senterfitt, Sansom points out, and several witnesses to be called in the case are represented by Bruce Culpepper, an attorney and shareholder in Akerman.

Sansom's motion also implies that Gibbons has made biased comments to the news media. After the five-member panel voted to delay the case, at Sansom's request, Gibbons said he was concerned Sansom may be trying to run out the clock and delay any decisions by the House panel until after the session ends in May.

The motion reads, "Further, it appears that Representative Joseph A Gibbons has already determined that a sanction is appropriate in this matter as he is further quoted in the same article as stating, 'If we can be stalled through the session, then nothing will happen ... And doing nothing, I think, will hurt the image of the House of Representatives."

This is not the first time a potential conflict has been raised. Another panel member, Republican Rich Glorioso of Plant City, received a $500 campaign donation from Jay Odom (hand-delivered by Sansom, who was running for House speaker.) Glorioso said he did not think he had a conflict and was allowed to remain on the committee. Sansom did not raise that issue in his motion today.