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Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Questions still abound over Sansom jet hangar deal

While several different newspapers (including the TU) have published editorials praising the House Speaker for resigning his cushy school job, numerous questions still abound about the jet hangar deal for his buddy, Jay Odom. You know, the jet hangar that Sansom apparently is attempting to now sell off as a totally separate emergency management building at his college.  But the St. Pete Times isn’t going to let Sansom off that easy. Their editorial board has called for a criminal investigation in the matter. 

According to a St. Pete Times article today:

A year and a half after slipping $6-million into the state budget for an emergency facility at his hometown airport, House Speaker Ray Sansom led a hastily arranged meeting with local officials to explain how they might use it.

The meeting, held Dec. 10, came four days after the St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee bureau reported that the airport building was originally proposed by a friend of Sansom’s, Jay Odom, a developer who wanted to park his jets in a taxpayer-funded hangar.

Sansom had secured state funding through an account designated for capital projects at colleges, and he called the meeting in his new role as vice president of Northwest Florida State College, which will own the facility and use it to teach emergency response classes.

But e-mails show that Sansom’s Tallahassee staff helped coordinate the gathering.

“It’s CYA time,” said former Destin Mayor Ken Beaird. “They got caught and now they’re trying to justify … an aircraft hangar.”

Let’s be honest.  At the end of Sansom’s current term in two years, we all know where he will likely be – in the same cushy Northwest Florida State College job that he took on the same day that he was sworn in as House Speaker….with his friend Odom’s jet parked in the hangar.

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