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FBI/Federal Grand Jury investigating former budget chief of Marco Rubio (Ray Sansom)

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-11 04:58 PM
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FBI/Federal Grand Jury investigating former budget chief of Marco Rubio (Ray Sansom)
This is some fantastic news!

When the State's two year old corruption case against former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom was abruptly dismissed on March 25, 2011, he thought he was Out Of The Woods.

Maybe with the State, but not with the Feds, Mr. Sansom.

Ray Sansom, former budget chief of House Speaker Marco Rubio, 2006-2008

Looks like he's got even worse trouble on the horizon. Late yesterday, news broke in the Northwest Florida Daily News, that the FBI and a Federal Grand Jury have issued subpoenas to Samantha Sullivan, a former long-time staffer of Sansom's when he served in the Florida Legislature, and to the Florida State House Office of Legislative Services, for records pertaining to Sansom's spending habits and travel during the 7 years he was in the Legislature.

Just after succeeding Marco Rubio as House Speaker in late 2008, Sansom was nailed for corruption and resigned amidst chaos as House Speaker in early 2009.

In April, 2009, Sansom was indicted along with former Northwest Florida State College President Bob Richburg and Okaloosa County developer Jay Odom, on grand theft charges stemming from a $6 million appropriation into the state budget for the construction of an airplane hangar to be used by Sansom's friend and major GOP donor Jay Odom on the premises of the Northwest Florida State College.

The State's charges were dropped in the midst of Sansom's criminal trial in March, 2011, due to a ruling by the presiding judge that barred testimony by one of the key witnesses for the State, which was part of the groundwork to be used by State Attorney Willie Meggs to prove conspiracy by these three men.

That was a bleak day.


The investigation, however, by Meggs led to the release of records showing how (Sansom) used a credit card issued to him by the Republican Party of Florida in 2007 and 2008.

Those records showed that Sansom had spent nearly $200,000 on the card, including using it for a professional baby-sitting service, trips to a Fort Walton Beach florist, and visits to Best Buy, as well as meals and hotel bills in far-flung places such as Nashville, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., New York City, and Chicago. He put airlines tickets for his family on the credit card and paid for a sightseeing tour of London where he traveled with then-Gov. Charlie Crist as part of a Florida trade mission.

A forensic audit done on behalf of the Republican Party and released back in September 2010 concluded that some of the expenses racked by Sansom were not related to Republican Party business.


And what's also interesting is that John Thrasher is ensnared in this as well. Glory be.


Meggs told the Daily News that FBI agents contacted him about Sansom in late 2008.

It became evident that Sansoms spending as a representative of the Republican Party of Florida was part of a federal inquiry in December 2010.

At that time, state Sen. John Thrasher, then serving as chairman of the state GOP, got into trouble for failing to disclose a subpoena he had received.

In confessing his failure to let high-ranking party officials know about the document, Thrasher was obliged to disclose some of what the U.S. attorney who issued it was seeking.

He said publicly that federal agents were looking for Ray Sansoms financial records.

Sansom, who in 2007-08 was House speaker-designate, used a Republican Party credit card to run up a $173,000 tab, ostensibly while traveling to help GOP candidates get elected.

Meggs released the credit card receipts after obtaining them as part of his criminal investigation. It indicated Sansom had spent party funds on expenses such as a European vacation with his family.

The records also showed Sansom spent thousands on things such as coffee, shoes, magazine subscriptions and clothing items and accessories.


Let's see:

Sansom's use of a Republican Party of Florida-issued credit card is under FBI/Federal Grand Jury scrutiny. He allegedly racked up huge personal charges on it.

Sansom secretively slipped millions of dollars of of taxpayer money into the State's budget, to benefit himself and and his friends.

Sansom lavished Northwest Florida State College with tens of millions in funding in 2008, and then accepted an unadvertised $110,000 a year part-time job with that same college, just hours after he was sworn in as Speaker:

On Nov. 18, (2008) Sansom was sworn in to a two-year term as House speaker, his beaming wife and three daughters at his side.

Hours later, the board of trustees at Northwest Florida State College agreed to hire Sansom to a part-time administration job that paid $110,000 a year. The position hadn't been advertised, there were no other applicants and Sansom faxed his application from his suite of offices in the state Capitol.

Soon after news crept out about the job, details began to emerge about a small college that had done unusually well in the annual budget roulette of Tallahassee. Sansom was the House's top budget writer during those years.

In 2008, Sansom accelerated funding for a student services building, taking what had been a $1 million appropriation and turning it into $25.5 million the largest single appropriation for any college in the state.

Sansom defended the spending, saying it was all money designated for education use so it couldn't have been used to patch other holes in the budget. He said that at the time, lawmakers were trying to push construction projects through quickly to generate jobs as the economy was beginning to soften.

The total to Northwest Florida over 2007 and 2008 included millions for projects that had not been part of the college's initial request for public education construction outlay (PECO) funds. Among those projects was $6 million for a first-responder training center for the school that would double as a staging area for emergency officials during natural disasters.


My, my, this sounds an awful lot like the things Marco Rubio is under scrutiny for as well.

Not you too, Marco!

Miami Herald, December 14, 2009:

Florida International University leaders were eager for one of their hometown legislators to become speaker of the House, and Marco Rubio delivered.
``We had a great year,'' FIU's lobbyist Steve Sauls said of millions in new funding in 2007, crediting Rubio and the Miami-Dade delegation.

The following year, as term limits forced Rubio to exit the Legislature and contemplate his next political move, FIU offered him a $69,000, part-time job that was not publicly advertised.
Critics questioned Rubio's soft landing as FIU trustees grappled with a $32 million budget shortfall that led to tuition hikes and the loss of 23 degree programs and 200 jobs.

Then came uncomfortable comparisons to another Republican House speaker -- Ray Sansom -- who steered $35 million to a Panhandle college then took a job there.


It illuminates the sway a handful of top elected officials have over taxpayer money and reflects a state college and university system that has become a friendly employment service for lawmakers who once oversaw their budgets.


``I had reservations about his hiring then, and I stand by what I said,'' said Bruce Hauptli, an FIU philosophy professor who served as faculty senate president in 2008. ``It doesn't make sense in a budget crisis.''


And Rubio used his legislative position to lavish FIU with millions as well, just before accepting his new "teaching" position upon leaving the Legislature, which he has just renewed again, stirring up the 2008 controversy.

Newly surfaced e-mail identifies Marco Rubio and others as "heroes" in funding for lavish ("Taj Mahal") courthouse (Nothing's too good for my buddies.')

E-mail names 'heroes' who got legislative funding for 'Taj Mahal' courthouse, By Lucy Morgan, Times Senior Correspondent, September 23, 2010


Rubio, now a candidate for the U.S. Senate, has repeatedly said the courthouse was a Senate project and the House knew nothing about the architectural plans. He said it was part of the last-minute House and Senate give and take.

Rubio's appropriations chairman, former Rep. Ray Sansom, remembers it differently.

In a recent interview, Sansom said $7.9 million included in the 2007-08 budget for courthouse "expansion'' was a Rubio priority. He said Rubio confirmed his support for the project several times between November 2006 and the end of the 2007 session.

He said 1st DCA Chief Judge Paul Hawkes frequently visited Sansom's office to remind him the project was a priority of Rubio's. As was Sansom's practice whenever someone said he had the speaker's backing, Sansom said he went to Rubio to make sure.

"I asked, and Speaker Rubio said yes, it was a priority and important to FSU to get a new building, too,'' Sansom said, adding that nobody from the Senate contacted him about wanting money for the courthouse.

Sansom said he did not know about a last-minute amendment authorizing a $35 million bond issue that was attached to a major House transportation bill until he read about it in the Times last month.

By tradition, several legislators said, in the final two days of a session, the House speaker personally approves any amendment attached to an important House bill.


(Uh-oh, Marco. Looks like your former hand-picked budget chief is calling you a liar.)

Money matters follow Marco Rubio, September 19, 2010 (Mr. Fiscal Responsibility, he ain't.)

Lavish party spending in 2006 extends to Rubio's former chief of staff, September 21, 2010 (Belly up to the trough, boyz!)

Marco Rubio: 'No' to his credit card statements release, September 24, 2010 ('You can't see my spending, nosiree.' --Let's hope the FBI has already politely requested.--)

Marco Rubio under scrutiny for racking up nearly $110 thousand on GOP credit card., February 24, 2010
('But, my wife's minivan needed repairs... and we needed a new kitchen floor.')

Marco Rubio and the FLGOP Credit Card Scandal, February 27, 2010 (But, remember Chuck, IOKIYAR.)

RPOF to release only 3 years of AmEx statements (2007-2009); Rubio used card from 2005-2008, April 23, 2010 (Mr. Thrasher running smokescreen for Mr. Rubio..)

And this one was to throw us off the track:

Amid scandal after scandal, Florida Legislature considers ethics reform, February 28, 2010
(Is is possible to die laughing?)

Marco Rubio

The wheels of justice grind ever so slowly.....

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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-11 05:03 PM
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1. Have they released a photo of his penis yet? n/t
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