Greer’s legal defense: Crist gave the okay for secret contracts 

Arrested former Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer is becoming the worst thing for Gov. Charlie Crist’s Senate campaign since his Republican opponent, Marco Rubio, entered the race and overtook him in the polls.

Greer, whom Crist installed as chairman after being elected governor as a Republican, was arrested last week for allegedly stealing money from Florida’s GOP. Greer now says he did not steal because Gov. Crist gave the go-ahead for the secret contracts he made between the party and a company he controlled:

Gov. Charlie Crist personally signed off on his former Republican Party chairman’s confidential fundraising role with the state party, according to Jim Greer’s attorney, whose allegation contradicts the governor’s statement that he “didn’t know anything” about the deal now part of a criminal investigation.

State investigators say Greer and the party’s former executive director, Delmar W. Johnson III, secretly set up a shell company called Victory Strategies to divert party money and enrich themselves. Greer was charged Wednesday with fraud and money laundering.

But Greer’s attorney, Damon Chase, said Saturday that the deal giving them a 10 percent cut of party donations was legal…

“You guys work hard. You deserve it,” Chase said Greer was told by the governor as they played pool in February 2009 at a Palm Beach golf tournament.

Crist has since fled the GOP, but he won’t find it as easy to run away from the problems he created for it.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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