Former House Speaker Ray Sansom (R-Destin) resigned from the Florida Legislature on February 21, 2010, less than 24 hours before the House Select Committee on Standards of Official Conduct was scheduled to begin its adjudicatory hearing on ethics complaints against him. The resignation was effective immediately. In his resignation letter to his successor, House Speaker Larry Cretul (R-Ocala), the former speaker said he was stepping down out of his love for the House of Representatives. He did not confess to any violations of law or House rules, stating that “ … this decision should not be received as an admission of any wrongdoing. On the contrary, I have steadfastly maintained that I am innocent of any wrongdoing and I will never relent from that position.”
In response, Rep. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), who chairs the select committee, described the situation as “heart-wrenching,” but said, “This is a resolution that's in the best interests of everyone involved. He is no longer a member of the Florida House.”
The ethics complaint against Mr. Sansom involved his acceptance of a job at Northwest Florida State College and state funding that he apparently steered to the college when he was House budget chairman.
Criminal charges against Mr. Sansom and two others relating to the same events remain pending. Mr. Sansom, former Northwest Florida State College President Bob Richburg, and developer Jay Odom have been charged with grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft.