Links for the Times: Jim Greer and Florida GOP's spending scandal; Bill Gates' education speech
Long before criminal investigations shook the Republican Party of Florida, office manager Susan Wright noticed a problem: Higher-ups were spending party money to help themselves instead of the GOP.
Thousands of dollars were dropped at Las Vegas restaurants, a casino resort and a Wayne Newton concert. She saw thousands more in questionable expenses for trips and swank accommodations in Boston, Beverly Hills and Miami.
And she was among the first Republican staffers to voice concerns about a $200,000 party contract with a shell company called Victory Strategies, now at the center of fraud and theft charges against former chairman Jim Greer, who has pleaded not guilty.
Read the full story on Wright's firing and the Times' full coverage of Jim Greer:
- Jim Greer's lawyer says Gov. Crist okayed diversion of GOP funds (June 6)
- Florida GOP exiles Jim Greer, saying he 'injured the name and status' of the party (April 24)
- Jim Greer charged big on Florida GOP credit card (April 21)
- U.S. attorney, IRS and FBI investigating Florida GOP credit card use (April 21)
- Bowing to pressure, Florida Republican Party chair Jim Greer steps down (Jan. 6)
Photo: Gov. Charlie Crist, Greer and YouTube's Steve Grove in July 2007. Times photo
In a speech Saturday, Bill Gates told 3,000 delegates at the convention of the nation's second-largest teachers' union that they shouldn't be afraid of change — they should embrace it, just as the Hillsborough County School District has done.
"I believe these reforms can make a huge difference for students, as long as you keep pushing and bring all America's teachers along with you," he told members of the American Federation of Teachers union in Seattle.