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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The epic climb and crash of Jim Greer



jim-greer.jpgThe 1993 DUI arrest of Jim Greer started as a 911 call from a woman in a drunken panic.

A police officer responded to a Shell station in Palm Bay shortly before 4:30 one morning that June. The woman stepped out from behind the building and into the light by the pay phone. Wet streaks of mascara ran down her face. The officer asked her what had happened. She wouldn’t say. He asked her again.

A white Chrysler convertible whipped into the parking lot. The officer recognized the driver as Greer, a city council member, and he smelled like booze. Greer looked at the officer and the woman and asked the woman where she’d been. He told her he’d been worried and looking for her everywhere.

The officer decided to check if Greer was as drunk as he seemed. He asked him to balance on one foot and walk a straight line and to say the alphabet. Greer swayed and flapped his arms to stay standing and couldn’t get past the letter T. "If I hadn’t had anything to drink at all,” he told the officer, "I’d still forget the rest."

In November 2006, Charlie Crist, who had just been elected governor, made Greer his pick to be chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. The DUI was never mentioned.

Click here for the St. Petersburg Times profile by Michel Kruse.

[Last modified: Friday, October 15, 2010 6:40pm]


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