Matt Dixon, (@Mdixon55)
TALLAHASSEE _ Powerful state Sen. Bill Galvano says he had nothing to do with a client of his private law firm securing millions during the 2013 legislative session, but a state budget document shows he requested the money.
IMG Academies, a Bradenton-based private sports and academic training academy, received $2.3 million in the current 2013-14 state budget.
The firm is represented by a Bradenton law firm that includes Galvano as one of several named partners.
Galvano told the Scripps/Tribune Capital Bureau that he had nothing to do with the money in the current year’s budget, or $2.5 million for IMG in the 2014-15 proposed budget lawmakers are currently considering.
“I was not involved in securing the funding in either budget,” Galvano wrote in an email to Scripps/Tribune.
A budget spreadsheet compiled by the governor’s office lists Galvano as requesting last year’s $2.3 million, which was for “a major expansion that includes a stadium, field house, student dorms and a research facility” at the nearly 500-acre campus.
In addition, he told his local newspaper that he helped secure the money.
“I think it shows the projects we were advocating for were justifiable and need-based,” Galvano told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in a May 2013 story about few regional projects getting vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott.