Sansom steps down from controversial college post01/05/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom today announced that he is stepping down from a $110,000 job at Northwest Florida State College.
Sansom took the job at the school the same day he was sworn in as speaker in November. He was offered the position after he put $25.5 million into last year's state budget for the school.
He has been repeatedly criticized for taking the job amid questions of whether he was rewarded for helping the school during tough budget times.
In a statement to House members as a special session on the budget began, Sansom said he took the job with pure intentions, but he wouldn't let the controversy divert attention away from House responsibilities.
Mark Ferullo, executive director of Progress Florida, said the group last month launched a website, SackSansom.com, in response to overwhelming response from an online poll asking Sansom to be held accountable for his “cash and carry” style of leadership.
Sansom’s now former job at Northwest Florida State College job was unadvertised, no other candidates were considered for the position and his application wasn’t included in a public notice for the meeting of the college’s board of trustees before they decided to hire him.
It was also reported that Sansom had earmarked millions in “education funds” to build a jet hangar for a major donor to his campaign with a financial stake in the project.