When the former chair of the Republican Party of Florida was arrested and charged with grand theft and fraud, investigators seized his computers. On them, they found unfinished book manuscripts that reportedly were packed with details about former Gov. Charlie Crist, to whom the ex-chair was close, and the conservative takeover of the party.
This week, at the request of Jim Greer’s lawyers, a Florida judge sealed the manuscripts until the trial.
The computer files were called “Betrayal and Vengeance” and “The Rise and Fall of the Moderate Wing of the Republican Party.” Judge Marc Lubet ordered them sealed until the trial begins.
Greer’s lawyers asked two weeks ago that the documents be sealed, arguing that they’re full of “trade secrets.” Prosecutors did not object and although the judge gave media companies 10 days to file an objection, none did.
Greer was arrested in June 2010 and charged with grand theft, fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors say that, while he was chair of the GOP, he created a shell company called Victory Strategies and then hired it to do fundraising for the party. He didn’t tell anyone he was an owner of the company, allegedly, and when Victory collected its 10-percent commission on big donations, much of the money — some $125,000 — ended up in Greer’s bank account.
Greer was pushed out of the party in January 2010, over reports of lavish and inappropriate spending by him and the party’s executive director, Delmar Johnson. Johnson was Greer’s co-owner in Victory Strategies. He has not been charged; instead he agreed to be the state’s star witness against Greer.
Greer also tried suing the party over a $123,000 severance package that he says he was promised, but a judge threw out that lawsuit in November.
Greer has pleaded not guilty to the charges, arguing that he was the victim rather than the criminal. He has said the charges are a set-up, punishment for his continued backing of the moderate Crist as the party became more conservative.