State must pay $810,475 for Ray Sansom’s corruption defense

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The state of Florida must pay $810,475 for former House Speaker Ray Sansom’s legal fees defending against 2009 corruption charges.

Leon County Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey ruled in February that taxpayers were liable for the fees because charges against Sansom were dismissed during a 2011 trial. She has now set the amount, $692,797 in fees plus $117,678 in interest.

Sansom and his attorneys are also seeking reimbursement for the cost of fighting the case over the fees. Court records don’t say how much they’re asking.

Florida public officials found innocent of corruption in official duties are entitled to legal fees. Lawyers for the state argued unsuccessfully that Sansom accepted a plea deal, tacitly admitting guilt.

He was accused of trying to misappropriate state money to build an airport for a supporter’s jet service.