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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jim Greer's lawyer: Another witness says RPOF officials knew Greer was taking over fundraising

Former  Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer has found yet another witness who says party officials knew Greer had taken over fundraising and would be compensated for it.

Greer is awaiting trial on multiple fraud charges in connection with the creation of Victory Strategies, a company he and another party official created to handle fundraising after Greer fired longtime party fundraiser Meredith O’Rourke.

Jay Burmer, a longtime friend and associate of then-Gov. Charlie Crist, signed an affidavit Wednesday supporting Greer’s case.

Burmer said he attended several meetings where the issue was discussed in 2008 and 2009. Burmer said Crist told him Greer was taking over fundraising duties in early 2009.

Burmer said Greer attempted to keep the issue quiet so O’Rourke would not attempt to interfere with party fundraising.

Burmer said he never heard of Victory Strategies, the company Greer and Delmar Johnson, executive director of the party created. Prosecutors say the company was created to secretly accept payments from the party. Similar affidavits have been filed by Crist and Harry Sargeant, a GOP fundraiser and Crist supporter.

Greer faces trial July 30 in Orlando. Damon Chase, the Lake Mary lawyer who represents him, says witnesses who support Greer’s version of events have all sworn that Greer was telling the truth.

“The only crime being committed here is the state of Florida continuing to prosecute an innocent man,’’ Chase said in an email accompanying copies of Burmer’s single-page affidavit.

-- Lucy Morgan, Times senior correspondent

[Last modified: Thursday, May 10, 2012 9:18am]


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