SANFORD — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Florida Republican Party by its ousted chairman.
Circuit Judge Alan Dickey granted the party's motion to dismiss Jim Greer's suit Tuesday in Sanford. Greer had accused the party of reneging on a $124,000 secret severance deal.
That allegation, along with the depositions of top lawmakers, is on hold now that a judge threw out Greer's breach-of-contract lawsuit. The judge said Greer couldn't press the civil case because he refuses to talk freely due to the criminal fraud charges he faces.
If he is not convicted, Greer can more easily refile his civil claim — that he didn't get the pay guaranteed him by current House Speaker Dean Cannon, Senate President Mike Haridopolos, Sen. John Thrasher and the party itself.
Greer's lawyer Damon Chase says the Republican Party of Florida should not rest easy.
"From the beginning, RPOF leaders have sought to derail the civil action that would air so much of the party's dirty laundry," he said. The judge's ruling "did not speak to the merits of the case," he said. "It was procedural in nature and will do nothing to keep the case from heading back to court."
Greer sued the state party and Thrasher as party chairman, claiming they reneged on a secret severance package that would have paid him about one-year's salary, nearly $124,000. The lawsuit also claimed that Cannon and Haridopolos offered to pay Greer $200,000 in "hush money," to remain quiet about the severance.
All denied Greer's accusations as groundless and outrageous. They said they signed an agreement with Greer in an effort to get rid of him.
Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.