A judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit against the Republican Party of Florida filed by its former chairman, Jim Greer, who is awaiting trial on charges that he defrauded the party out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Greer was suing the party for reneging on his $123,000 severance package, which they negotiated after the party got into hot water for loose spending but before Greer’s alleged theft was discovered. The party contends that the severance package was never finalized.
The judge granted the party’s request to throw out the suit because Greer wouldn’t answer questions from the party’s lawyers, claiming it could harm his own defense in the criminal case. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a judge today told Greer he couldn’t have it both ways. He can, however, re-file within five years.
Greer was arrested in June on felony charges of grand theft and money laundering. Prosecutors say he ran a sham firm called Victory Strategies, which collected 10 percent of all the party’s large donations and raked in even more in expense reports. Although some at the party knew about the contract with Victory, Greer allegedly hid the fact that he and his executive director, Delmar Johnson, owned the firm. Greer allegedly pocketed more than $125,000 from the deal.
He pleaded not guilty.
He had been ousted in January over unrest within the party over rumors of lavish and improper spending. Former party officials have alleged that Greer and others spent thousands of party dollars on cigars, lobster, birthday parties and other personal expenses. An audit found that Greer had used party money for family trips to New York and Disney World, tickets to see Journey and invitations for his son’s baptism.