Jim Greer pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and a single count of money laundering for funneling money from the Republican Party of Florida to a company he set up with his right-hand man. He could be sentenced to a minimum of 3 ½ years and a maximum of 35 years in prison at his March 27 sentencing.
The criminal trial of former Republican Party of Florida chair Jim Greer had promised to be embarrassing for party leaders, rising Republican star Marco Rubio and former Gov. Charlie Crist, who is contemplating a new political future as a Democrat.
The plea deal avoids what would could have been an embarrassing trial for the state GOP. Some of Florida's most powerful politicians were scheduled as witnesses, including former Gov. Charlie Crist, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and several state House and state Senate leaders.
The trial had threatened to expose the underbelly of Florida's dominant political party and its formerly high-spending ways. Party officials took heat three years ago from revelations of excessive spending at restaurants and luxury hotels on party-issued American Express cards by Republican leaders, including Rubio. Testimony about those expenditures had been expected at the trial.
Topics also covered in pretrial depositions included allegations of prostitutes at a state GOP fundraiser in the Bahamas, the drinking habits of Crist and intraparty strife. Some of Florida's most powerful politicians were scheduled as witnesses, including Crist, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and several state House and state Senate leaders.
"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul