Sunday, December 17, 2017
News Roundup

Timeline of Jim Greer and the Republican Party of Florida


During campaign: Oviedo City Council member and businessman Jim Greer works on Charlie Crist's successful gubernatorial campaign.

November: Crist endorses Greer as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.


Jan. 27: In a 102-89 vote by state committee members, Greer is elected chairman over Carole Jean Jordan.


June: As chairman, Greer gets around the state in his own airplane, but racks up more than $85,000 in unpaid airplane bills.

August: Greer irks some by taking sides in Republican primary battles.

Election: Greer comes under fire for his spending decisions during the presidential campaign, including charging personal expenses to the party. Also, it's reported the party did not exhaust its campaign cash in the final weeks, despite saying it had.


Jan. 11: Greer is re-elected chairman 169-52. Greer names Delmar Johnson as the party's executive director.

August: After thousands of dollars in questionable spending is found on party American Express cards, Greer cuts up his Amex card and announces that only the party's chief financial officer will have a card. Questions are fueled by former state House Speaker Ray Sansom's lavish spending.

November: A series of negative headlines turns Greer into a lightning rod. GOP leaders demand a "special emergency closed meeting'' of the party's executive board.

Nov. 19: No action is taken at closed-door meeting.

December: Rumor mill churns that Greer will step down. Party spokeswoman Katie Betta says that's nonsense.

Dec. 10: Al Hoffman, former finance chairman for the Republican National Committee, asks Greer to resign. Greer gets a 25-2 vote of confidence from the GOP's executive board.

Dec. 17: At least 50 party officials sign a letter calling for a secret ballot vote on rescinding Greer's chairmanship.

Dec. 18: Crist stands by Greer, "I think he's doing a good job. He works like crazy."


Jan. 5: Greer resigns. "I cannot be a participant in the shredding and tearing in the fabric of the Republican Party," Greer says, accusing critics of spreading false accusations about his leadership and financial management.

Jan. 11: GOP lawmakers confront Greer over a secret contract between Greer and Johnson, the party's executive director. The two-page contract gave Johnson's company, Victory Strategies, 10 percent of the money he raised from major donors.

Feb. 20: State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, is elected the next state party chairman. Leaders call for an exhaustive audit of party records.

February-March: Top GOP lawmakers and party officials negotiate with Greer over a severance package, according to his attorney and documents.

March 15: Internal audit finds Greer was majority owner of Victory Strategies. It is reported to law enforcement.

April 1: Greer sues party, seeking financial damages for breach of contract over severance.

April 2: Crist asks federal authorities to investigate.

April 21: American Express billing statements show $7 million charged on party Amex cards between late 2006 and 2009. Greer charged nearly $500,000 for spa treatments, flowers, flights, hotels and pricey restaurants.

May 18: Johnson signs immunity agreement to reveal evidence against Greer.

May 25: Johnson calls Greer and in a nearly hour-long conversation that investigators secretly record, the two vent about all they'd done for the GOP and the party leaders turning on them. "You never have to worry about me,'' Johnson says.

June 2: Greer is arrested at his Oviedo home just after he cut himself shaving. He is charged on six felony counts of theft, money laundering and orchestrating a scheme to defraud.

June 3: Crist denies knowing about a secret contract at the center of the indictment.


Feb. 11: After multiple delays, a trial is scheduled to begin, but is cut off when Greer pleads guilty to grand theft and money laundering charges.

Source: Times files

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David out for Monday’s game vs. Falcons

TAMPA — As if containing All-Pro Julio Jones and the Falcons offense isn’t challenging enough, the Bucs will try to do so Monday night without perhaps their top defensive players, tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David.On Saturday, Bucs coa...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

WASHINGTON — Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....
Updated: 9 hours ago
Aquarium reopens to divers

Aquarium reopens to divers

Florida Keys News BureauVisitors to Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters dive with among indigenous Keys fish Friday in Marathon. The attraction reopened Friday after closing just before Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys on Sept. 10. Although tourism f...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

MIAMI — With burrowing iguanas showing up in people’s toilets and damaging expensive sewer lines, Florida wildlife managers are stepping up efforts to control the state’s booming population of the wild, invasive reptiles. The Florida Fish and Wildlif...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Fan helps fund Miami Stadium’s historic marker

MIAMI — For thousands of kids who grew up in Miami, going to the old Miami Stadium in the Allapattah neighborhood was a part of coming of age. Opened on Aug. 31, 1949, with a game between the Miami Sun Sox and Havana Cubans, two Class B Florida Inter...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

OCEAN CITY, Md. — Phil Heasley of Naples caught the fish of his life, but the $2.8 million in tournament prize money got away. Heasley reeled in a 6-foot white marlin last year off Maryland’s coast. But in a sign of how concerned some big money tour...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenters, and use voucher funds to attend a private school of ...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Two die in head-on crash on Gunn Highway in Odessa

ODESSA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a head-on crash on Gunn Highway that killed two and sent a child to the hospital Saturday afternoon.About 12: 45 p.m., Terry Lee Bronschidle, 70, of Tampa was driving his Chevy Traverse south on...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Updated: 10 hours ago