With the inevitability of the crash at the end of the course of a runaway train, the disastrous political career of former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer came to its inevitable and embarrassing conclusion today when he was arrested at his home and booked at the Seminole County Jail, having been indicted by a statewide grand jury with six felonies, including fraud, money laundering and four counts of grand theft.
Greer resigned late last year as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida as the result of controversy over his extravagant spending, travel and use of party credit cards and because of his misuse of the powers of his office in attempting to influence the Florida Senate race in favor of Governor Charlie Crist.
Crist also became notorious for his attempts to purge opponents from the party hierarchy, including elected party officers who were members of the Republican Liberty Caucus and other grassroots reform groups. Greer came gained negative nationwide attention because of his open hostility towards tea party groups and libertarians within the Republican Party and his witch hunt against anyone diverging from a strict ideological loyalty to the McCain campaign and the party establishment.
The indictments against Greer are based on his management of the fundraising company Victory Strategies LLC, in which he was the controlling partner. Greer has been accused of transferring all party fundraising to his company without authorization from the Executive Committee, while keeping that action secret from them. He is also accused of misdirecting additional existing party funds to his company without approval.
At a noon press conference, State Prosecutor William Shepherd said that Greer took at least $100,000 from the Republican Party for his personal expenses and that Victory Strategies was a shell company created primarily to divert money illegally to Greer.
Greer has been a close political ally of Governor Crist and this indictment is likely to further weaken Crist’s efforts agains the insurgent senatorial campaign of former House Speaker Marco Rubio going into the August 24th primary.
The Greer indictment leaves a lot of Republicans in Florida unsurprised and should be a warning to party officials in other states that this kind of all-to-common misuse of funds and efforts at personal enrichment at party expense is not the gray area many assume it to be and is, in fact, criminal and could land you in a cell with someone like Jim Greer.