Politics

Former House speaker wants state to pay his legal fees

A one-day trial is underway to decide whether taxpayers should pay the legal fees owed by former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom. Sansom wants the state to pay nearly $1 million owed to the lawyers who successfully defended him against a 2009 indictment. In this file photo, Sansom, R-Destin, center, talks with reporters following a speech in Tallahassee in 2009.
A one-day trial is underway to decide whether taxpayers should pay the legal fees owed by former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom. Sansom wants the state to pay nearly $1 million owed to the lawyers who successfully defended him against a 2009 indictment. In this file photo, Sansom, R-Destin, center, talks with reporters following a speech in Tallahassee in 2009. AP

A one-day trial is underway to decide whether taxpayers should pay the legal fees owed by former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom.

Sansom wants the state to pay nearly $1 million owed to the lawyers who successfully defended him against a 2009 indictment.

During the first part of the Thursday trial, Sansom's criminal defense lawyer testified that former House Speaker Dean Cannon had promised to pay the fees. But then Cannon told attorney Stephen Dobson he couldn't do it "politically."

Cannon declined to comment on the trial testimony.

Sansom was accused of seeking $6 million in state money for a hangar that was intended to be used by a local businessman and a Republican donor.

The charges were dropped after a judge refused to let a key witness testify.

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