State agrees to pay $600,000 for Sansom’s corruption defense

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida will pay $600,000 to cover legal fees owed by former House Speaker Ray Sansom.

Taxpayers were initially on the hook for a more than $800,000, but Sansom’s lawyers and the Florida House reached a settlement that lowered the final amount.

Leon County Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey ruled in February that taxpayers were liable for the fees because corruption charges against Sansom were dismissed during a 2011 trial.

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.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli said Tuesday he was pleased the settlement would end litigation over the fees. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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