Monday, December 11, 2017
News Roundup

Jim Greer sues two law firms over RPOF ouster, consulting contract

TALLAHASSEE — Former GOP Chairman Jim Greer has filed lawsuits against two Tallahassee law firms seeking damages for advice he says he got before he lost his job as head of the state party.

Damon Chase, a Lake Mary lawyer, filed the suits in Leon County Circuit Court against Ausley & McMullen, the law firm where Republican Party of Florida lawyer Jason Gonzalez works and Gray Robinson, an Orlando law firm that drew up the paperwork for Victory Strategies, a political consulting company Greer formed with a subordinate.

Greer, now facing criminal charges in connection with money the party paid to Victory Strategies, has already filed a civil suit against the Republican Party, Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Senate Rules Chairman John Thrasher. GOP lawyers will be in court in Seminole County Wednesday seeking a change of venue that would move the case to Tallahassee.

The new lawsuits seek damages in excess of $15,000 from each law firm. Greer accuses the Ausley firm and Gonzalez of misleading him during negotiations over a severance agreement that was supposed to pay him $124,000 in return for his resignation.

Greer says he was advised by Ausley lawyers to remove any mention of Victory Strategies from the agreement and urged by the firm to destroy copies of it after it was signed by party leaders. Greer claims that lawyers from the firm later lied when asked about the existence of the agreement and urged him to remain silent about it. Ken Hart, managing partner at the Ausley firm, declined to comment.

Greer was later indicted by a statewide grand jury for shifting more than $300,000 from party accounts to Victory Strategies. He faces trial July 30 in Orlando. Now he accuses the firm of "severely and irreparably damaging'' his reputation.

His lawsuit against the party is an attempt to collect the $124,000 party leaders promised him.

The lawsuit against Gray Robinson accuses the firm of improperly disclosing documents relating to the formation of Victory Strategies and a contract the business had with the party.

A spokesman for Gray Robinson said the firm protects all communications with clients and disclosed the information only after Victory Strategies' only officer agreed to cooperate with law enforcement officials and waived the attorney client privilege on behalf of the corporation.

Delmar Johnson, then the executive director of the party, hired Gray Robinson to create the corporation and later agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the criminal case pending against Greer.

Comments
Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

TAMPA — The season started in August with “Hard Knocks,” packed bleachers at training camp and cheers for coach Dirk Koetter.It ended Sunday with a 24-21 loss to the Lions, a lot of empty seats and chants of “We want Gruden ba...
Updated: 21 minutes ago

High school scoreboard for Dec. 11

Monday’s scoreboardGirls soccerDixie Hollins 4, Boca Ciega 0Palm Harbor U. 2, Countryside 2Osceola 7, Northeast 0Largo 1, Seminole 0Boys soccerIndian Rocks Chr. 3, Northside Chr. 1Palm Harbor U. 4, Countryside 1...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays made a small deal Monday in acquiring INF Joey Wendle from Oakland while continuing to discuss bigger ones that seem likely to eventually lead to the trade of closer Alex Colome and then others.The Rockies and Mets joined ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Mon., Dec. 11, midday:32 251 1266e_SRit91903Mon., Dec. 11, evening:52 400 7181e_SRit23090Fantasy 5Mon., Dec. 11...
Updated: 2 hours ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Emily Joseph and Devin Cosser

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Emily Joseph and Devin Cosser

HomeTeam Hot ShotsEmily Joseph, NortheastJoseph, a senior, has been a deadly shooter since her sophomore year. But this season she has added to her game. "She’s gotten physically stronger and has gained confidence," coach Will White said. "She used t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida A&M names Willie Simmons football coach

Florida A&M names Willie Simmons football coach

TALLAHASSEE — Willie Simmons was named football coach at Florida A&M on Monday. The Tallahassee native will be introduced today. Simmons, 37, has been the coach at Prairie View A&M the past three seasons (21-11, including 6-5 this season). He played ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Yankees’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton may hasten Rays’ dismantling

Yankees’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton may hasten Rays’ dismantling

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The latest obstacle keeping the Rays from contending in the American League East loomed even larger Monday afternoon in pinstripes.The Yankees’ formal introduction of Giancarlo Stanton also could be an accelerant to the departure o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Residents wonder what’s next after fire destroys Tampa apartments (with video)

Residents wonder what’s next after fire destroys Tampa apartments (with video)

TAMPA — When her apartment complex caught fire Monday afternoon, Peaches McIntyre grabbed her four children and baby stroller and ran outside.Hours later, she looked at the smoldering building with her 5-year-old autistic son, Choice Underwood, huggi...
Updated: 3 hours ago
3 Trump accusers call for congressional inquiry; Pentagon to allow transgender people to enlist; 18 win anti-Trump climate grants; more in U.S., world news

3 Trump accusers call for congressional inquiry; Pentagon to allow transgender people to enlist; 18 win anti-Trump climate grants; more in U.S., world news

United States3 Trump accusers speak, hoping to be heard nowThree women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment shared their stories Monday on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today. Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks s...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Judge denies former Clearwater fire chief’s motion for a new trial

Judge denies former Clearwater fire chief’s motion for a new trial

A Pinellas circuit judge denied a bid for a new trial in the case of Jamie Geer, the former Clearwater fire chief serving a life sentence for sexually abusing a girl throughout her childhood.Geer, now 63, was in court in October seeking the new trial...
Updated: 3 hours ago