Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trial of former state GOP chair Jim Greer postponed until mid November

ORLANDO — A judge on Thursday delayed the criminal trial for former state GOP chairman Jim Greer until mid November, sparing Florida Republicans the embarrassment of intense scrutiny of the party's inner-workings just weeks before Tampa hosts the Republican National Convention.

Orlando Circuit Judge Marc Lubet ordered a continuance so Greer's lawyer, Damon Chase, can review documents he is subpoenaing from the Republican Party of Florida.

Chase said he wants to be sure he can review any emails, notes, memos and reports that mention Victory Strategies LLC, the company Greer is accused of using to get almost $200,000 out of the party. The party's attorney, Stephen Dobson, said emails for Delmar Johnson, the party's former executive director, alone numbered around 70,000.

Greer had been scheduled to face trial on July 30.

A request of that size should have been made two years ago, Lubet said, when Greer was arrested in his home on charges of money laundering and multiple counts of fraud. Chase agreed but argued he should get the extension because he took over as Greer's lead attorney in June.

"I do not want to try this case more than once," Lubet repeated. "It's getting way too long for Mr. Greer and the state."

Lawyers groaned about the new trial date — the week of Nov. 12, which will straddle Thanksgiving — but acknowledged they too want to bring the ordeal to a finite close.

"Jim has been absolutely adamant, 'Let's get this thing done, let's get this thing done,' " Chase told reporters. "It's certainly a setback ... but it's the way things had to be."

Lubet agreed with Dobson that the party needs time to inspect the documents for privileged information, and that Greer should pay for the costs of his request.

"I hope your client is well-funded," Lubet said.

"He is not," Chase said.

Judge Lubet delayed a decision on two more requests in Chase's subpoena. He is asking for a slew of party fundraising and consulting contracts over 10 years.

Lubet also will decide whether the public and the media should have access to a salacious-sounding four-page interview taken from a witness. Richard Hornsby, an Orlando defense lawyer representing two unnamed witnesses, tried Thursday to prevent it from being shared with the defense. Lubet took a break to read over the document and decided the state must release it to Greer. He said he will examine case law as to whether it should be shielded from public view because of, in Hornsby's words, its defamatory nature.

An attorney representing the Associated Press argued it should not.

Greer had no comment. He left his seat at the defense table during breaks to confer with and comfort his wife, who is eight months pregnant with the couple's daughter.

They plan to name her Hope.

Katie Sanders can be reached at

Trial of former state GOP chair Jim Greer postponed until mid November 07/19/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 23, 2012 3:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  2. Trump strategist Steve Bannon: No military solution in North Korea


    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."

    Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, has drawn fire from some of Trump's closest advisers. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  4. Dunedin man accused of possessing child pornography


    DUNEDIN — A 57-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of intentionally downloading child pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Richard Beal Anger, 57, of Dunedin faces 11 counts of possession of child pornography. [Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Pence cuts short Latin America trip and pressures Chile to sever all ties to North Korea


    SANTIAGO, Chile — Vice President Mike Pence is cutting short his Latin America trip by one day to return to Washington for a strategy meeting Friday at Camp David with President Donald Trump and the national security team.

    Vice President Mike Pence urged Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to take a tougher stand against North Korea on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile.