Former House Speaker Ray Sansom shook off state criminal charges, but the Feds are still on his case

TAMPA - The former speaker of the Florida House is not off the hook yet.

Charges of grand theft by the State of Florida against Ray Sansom were dropped earlier this year, but now the FBI has reportedly opened a federal investigation into Sansom's spending habits. It's an investigation that is making a lot of Republicans nervous.

The FBI investigation was confirmed when the current House Speaker received a subpoena requesting Sansom's travel records.

With a major election on the way, Ray Sansom in the news is the last thing Republicans want or need.  "It will be used against every Republican in the state," says Republican political consultant April Schiff.

The list of ethical and criminal allegations against Ray Sansom is long.

As the chief budget writer for the Florida House of Representatives, Sansom directed millions of tax dollars toward Northwest Florida State College and then accepted a job from the same school that paid $110,000 dollars a year.

Sansom also appropriated $6 million to build what was called an "education facility" for Northwest Florida State College, but was reportedly intended to be an airplane hangar to be used by developer Jay Odom, a major political backer of Sansom.

State charges of grand theft were filed, then dropped.

Since then, the federal government has been investigating the way Sansom and other Republicans -- including Senator Marco Rubio -- used credit cards issued to them by the Republican Party of Florida. With the 2012 elections looming, an expanded investigation involving high profile Republicans is a worrisome possibility.

"Marco Rubio was definitely Speaker of the House during that period of time that you would think they're looking at that. Hopefully there's nothing there that causes any vulnerabilities, but there's no telling what the FBI is looking at."

House Speaker Dean Cannon's office told ABC Action News they've been asked to turn in the documents by June 16 but there's no telling when or if a federal indictment against Ray Sansom will come down.

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