Sunday, November 19, 2017
Politics

Trial of Jim Greer pushed back to February 2013

RECOMMENDED READING


The trial of former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer has been postponed again as lawyers squabble over the cost of records Greer wants from the party.

Orlando Circuit Judge Marc Lubet has now scheduled the trial to begin Feb. 11, 2013, almost three years after Greer was charged with money laundering and grand theft for allegedly diverting about $200,000 in party funds to a corporation he created to handle fundraising.

Lubet will determine how much Greer will have to pay for party records at a hearing on Nov. 7. Party lawyer Steve Dobson says the records, which include thousands of emails and contracts, will cost more than $100,000.

Damon Chase, the lawyer for Greer, says he cannot afford to pay that much for the records.

The conflict between Greer and the party has already led to several embarrassing claims against party officials and has the potential to embarrass many of the state's top Republicans.

In depositions in May, Greer accused party leaders of being "right wing whack-a-doodles" who were seriously considering ways to suppress black votes.

A Florida Department of Law Enforcement report that remains sealed supposedly describes a salacious encounter in the Bahamas featuring some GOP officials, lobbyists and women who were paid for their services.

Lubet ordered the report made public last month but lawyers for two unnamed participants in the Bahamas gathering have appealed his ruling to the 5th District Court of Appeal in an effort to keep it secret.

Greer was forced to resign the $130,000-a-year chairman position in early 2010 as party leaders began questioning party expenditures and Victory Strategies Inc., the corporation Greer established with Delmar Johnson, the party's executive director.

Johnson has been given immunity from prosecution and is testifying against Greer.

Greer claims he is innocent of the charges, insisting that then-Gov. Charlie Crist and others knew he was getting paid additional money for fundraising after he terminated the GOP's $30,000-a-month fundraiser, Meredith O'Rourke.

Crist, legislative leaders and a number of GOP political consultants are among the witnesses scheduled to testify at Greer's trial.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Correction: The charges against Jim Greer stem from a statewide grand jury. An earlier version of this story misclassified them.

Comments
Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

WASHINGTON — It’s been nearly six years since the Senate Ethics Committee conducted a major investigation of a sitting senator. Next year, the panel could be working nonstop, deciding the fate of up to three lawmakers, including two facing allegation...
Published: 11/18/17
In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

UTICA, N.Y.Pat Marino pulled into the shop on a cold, wet Thursday and stood close as a young mechanic with gelled-up hair and earrings lifted the truck and ducked underneath."You need a little bit more oil," the mechanic said."Five quarts wasn’t eno...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17
As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

WASHINGTON — "You can do anything," Donald Trump once boasted, speaking of groping and kissing unsuspecting women. Maybe he could, but not everyone can. The man who openly bragged about grabbing women’s private parts — but denied he really did so — w...
Published: 11/17/17
Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Standing on the white marble steps of Alabama’s Capitol, Kayla Moore surrounded herself with two dozen other women Friday to defend husband Roy Moore against accusations of sexual misconduct that are dividing Republicans, and women...
Published: 11/17/17
Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken personally apologized to the woman who has accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour, saying he remembers their encounter differently but is "ashamed that my actions ruined that ...
Published: 11/17/17
Negative mailers trace back to campaign of state House candidate who denies them

Negative mailers trace back to campaign of state House candidate who denies them

An 87-year-old widow from Melbourne, a mysterious direct mail company in tiny Buffalo, Wyo., and a tangled web of political committees all were linked to the onslaught of negative mailers that helped Lawrence McClure win the Republican primary in Pla...
Published: 11/17/17

10,000 more FBI records unsealed from JFK assassination files

DALLAS — Yet again, the National Archives released a trove of records from the Kennedy assassination files on a Friday afternoon, another strange stream of loose ends, dead ends and tangents with little apparent connection to the assassination of the...
Published: 11/17/17
William March: Why Jose Vazquez had to campaign from a prison cell

William March: Why Jose Vazquez had to campaign from a prison cell

Jose Vazquez, Democratic nominee in the Dec. 19 state House District 58 special election, doesn’t seem like a criminal. He’s 43, divorced with six children, and has worked as a security guard and in auto recycling. He was a high-level political field...
Published: 11/17/17
Selective outrage: Trump criticizes Franken, silent on Moore

Selective outrage: Trump criticizes Franken, silent on Moore

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is displaying selective outrage over allegations of sexual harassment against prominent men in politics, as his own tortured past lingers over his response. Trump moved quickly Thursday to condemn accusations again...
Published: 11/17/17
Franken draws swift condemnation in Congress after woman claims he groped her

Franken draws swift condemnation in Congress after woman claims he groped her

WASHINGTON — Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., faced swift condemnation and bipartisan calls for an ethics investigation Thursday after he was accused of forcibly kissing and groping a broadcaster and model while traveling overseas in 2006.The allegations ag...
Published: 11/16/17