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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Thrasher on Greer severance: 'It was what it was'



A day before for GOP Chairman Jim Greer resigned, state Sen. John Thrasher signed a severance package for Greer as the party's future chairman -- even though he didn't win the post until Feb. 20, seven weeks later. In his first detailed interview since it became public, Thrasher brushed off questions about the disputed agreement and his role.

"It was what it was. People were trying to get the guy out," Thrasher told Adam C. Smith on Monday. "The bottom line is this guy abused his trust with the party by entering into a secret agreement with the executive director that nobody else knew about to take money out of the party for their own gain."

Thrasher said in reviewing Republican Party records it appeared that during Greer's three-year chairmanship, about two dozen legislators and GOP staffers a year held party credit cards. He believes a "high percentage" of charges were appropriate, and he has assured the party's executive board that he will review the expenses anyone with charges that appear inappropriate will be asked to reimburse the party.

The party handed out credit cards before Greer was elected chairman in 2006, but Thrasher said the review will not examine the GOP's financial activities prior to Greer's tenure. "I'm not going back any further. You guys may beat me up over that, but I want to get this done so we can put this behind us,'' he said.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:26am]


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