Despite his protestations about being clean, Ray Sansom has hired one of the best known criminal defense lawyers in Tallahassee and elsewhere – Peter Antonacci. Antonacci will be defending Mr. Clean in possible state and federal investigations into the dealings of the Sansom, Bob Richburg and the trustees of NW Florida State College.
Antonacci once worked for Meggs [the local State Attorney conducting the state investigation into Sansom], handling public corruption prosecutions. In recent years, he has become the go-to guy for Republicans in trouble.
In 2002, then-Gov. Jeb Bush called on Antonacci to represent his daughter, Noelle, on charges that she had forged a prescription for Xanax.
Antonacci is currently a senior lawyer in the Tallahassee office of Gray-Robinson, one of Florida’s best-known law firms. Antonacci, like Coates, was a lobbyist before the Florida Legislature in 2008. [St. Pete Times]
If you recall, Sansom has already hired Richard Coates (mentioned in the quote above) to represent him on the ethics complaint that has been lodged against him. Btw, the Ethics Commission found the ethics complaint against Sansom legally sufficient on Friday. Now a preliminary investigation into the ethics charges will occur.
Sansom has repeatedly issued blanket denials of any wrongdoing, but the St. Pete Times has called him out again in an editorial today saying the only thing convincing about Sansom’s denials is the underscoring of the need for criminal investigations into the matter.
So if Sansom is Mr. Clean, I can’t help but wonder this: Why does he need to hire two big gun attorneys to represent him?