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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Attorney's fees sought from Fla. GOP over attack on local chairman

11

November

Brevard County Republican Chairman Jason Steele is asking the state party to cover his legal expenses, $7,500, from dealing with a bogus Twitter account a party staffer created in his name and defending against a grievance complaint that he says was encouraged by the state party too. Steele has been a vocal critic of state party leaders.

"After an investigation by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department, I understand that a Republican Party of Florida employee, Tim Nungesser, has confessed to setting up the false Twitter account and to fabricating all of its postings. I have also been told that Tim Nungesser has also admitted that Mr. Delmar Johnson, also a Republican Party of Florida employee, was aware and had seen the Twitter account,'' Steele's attorney, Michael Kahn, wrote in a letter to the state party's general counsel, Daniel Nordby. "Chairman Steele has also spoken with Travis Clinger, the former Secretary of the Brevard Republican Executive Committee, who filed the grievance against Chairman Steele. Mr. Clinger has stated that Mr. Nungesser encouraged and helped Mr. Clinger to file the grievance against Chairman Steele. Chairman Steele has spoken with Mr. Clinger who has agreed to talk to anyone interested and give his account of the encouragement and help that Tim Nungesser gave to him when Mr. Clinger filed his complaint against Chairman Steele."

"I have no comment,'' Clinger told Buzz.

A party spokeswoman brushed off the request for legal fees: "An RPOF grievance hearing is not a legal procedure. Legal representation is not required, or even necessary,'' said Katie Betta.

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:05pm]

    

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