Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Republican Party says it didn't offer Jim Greer 'hush money'

TALLAHASSEE — The Republican Party of Florida has not attempted to settle a civil suit filed against them by former GOP chairman Jim Greer, according to a lawyer for the party.

"The Republican Party of Florida has never made an offer to pay Jim Greer any money to settle his lawsuit, not one dollar, not one red cent,'' said Stephen Dobson, who represents the party.

Dobson made the statement Thursday after Greer and his lawyer, Damon Chase, claimed the party was pushing for a secret settlement that would pay Greer "hush money.''

Party officials did have a meeting with Greer and Chase in September 2011 and agreed to keep the details confidential. That written agreement became public this week after Orlando Circuit Judge Marc Lubet agreed to allow Chase to use it as evidence when Greer goes on trial for money laundering and fraud in November.

Chase and Greer contacted reporters with copies of a newly released "confidentiality agreement'' signed by Andy Palmer, former executive director of the party, and initialed by Chase, Dobson and Steve Andrews, another lawyer who represented the party at the time. Chase said the document is proof the party was trying keep Greer quiet.

Greer is accused of diverting about $200,000 in party money to Victory Strategies, a company he and Delmar Johnson, former executive director of the party, formed in 2009 to handle fundraising. Greer resigned under pressure in early 2010 and Johnson has since been granted immunity from prosecution in return for his testimony against Greer.

The settlement discussions occurred in connection with a civil suit Greer filed against the party last year seeking to force it to honor a 2010 severance agreement to pay him $124,000.

The confidentiality agreement required both sides to keep any settlement discussion secret. The document was signed Sept. 16, 2011, after a meeting at Shula's Steak House near Orlando.

No agreement was reached.

Had the parties reached an agreement, both sides agreed to keep everything discussed confidential, including any book, movie or television contracts, fundraising activities, trips, reimbursements, donors, consultants and candidates and office holders.

The GOP retained the right to notify prosecutors of the settlement conference.

"I think it's important to remember that only one person in this lawsuit has been arrested and charged with six felonies and that's Jim Greer,'' Dobson said.

Greer's latest disclosure comes amid increasingly hostile exchanges with party officials who now say they'll never pay Greer any money and would not consider any sort of settlement in the civil suit before the criminal charges are resolved.

In a deposition in May, Greer called GOP officials right-wing "whackados'' and "crazies'' and said he and other party officials discussed ways to suppress black votes in December 2009. Party officials denied the accusation.

Florida Republican Party says it didn't offer Jim Greer 'hush money' 08/02/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 2, 2012 7:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

  2. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big

    Bucs

    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  3. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump

    Blogs

    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.

  4. How Rays' Chris Archer is branching out on Twitter

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) leans on the railing of the dugout during the All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  5. Candidates for governor get emotional talking about their gay siblings

    Blogs

    Occasionally in today's hyper-rehearsed and contrived world of political campaigns one witnesses moments that are so honest and real, we can't help but understand we're not just listening to another politician give his or her stump speech; We're listening to a human being who understands personal pain at least as well …

    Chris King talking to reporters in Tallahassee