Soon, Greer says, he paid himself $125,000 in commission checks.

"Jim Greer made a deal with himself behind our backs, and we never had a clue," says Sid Dinerstein, former Palm Beach County Republican Chairman. "He's a slick guy who by himself never had success, then finds himself chairman of the party that takes in millions. And all of a sudden, it became his private business."

The arrest came on a Wednesday morning in June. While his children and wife cried, Greer, in a gray T-shirt and black pinstriped pants, was carted from his Oviedo mansion to meet the cameras.

Jim Greer: "There is an element of racism in the Republican Party."
Jim Greer: "There is an element of racism in the Republican Party."

Bitterness consumed the family. Greer couldn't reconcile his immediate and absolute fall. First he blamed Delmar Johnson for dishonesty. Then he faulted "extremists" like state Attorney General Bill McCollum and current Republican Chairman John Thrasher, Greer says, for "destroying the party." But mostly he was angry at Crist, who didn't protect him.

"Charlie absolutely sacrificed my husband at the altar of his ambition," says Greer's wife, Lisa, "and with absolutely no regard for the impact on my family and children and our future."

Today, finally, the Greers blame themselves. When Jim talks about his time as chairman, he adopts the persona of a sinner at confession. "I spent too much," Greer says, looking away. "I think I should have recognized that I didn't need to stay in a five-star hotel. I should have set a better example, and I didn't."

The family is down to its last dollars, Greer says. Lisa sold all of her jewelry to make the $1,000-per-month payments on the house. The dishwasher is broken. So is the sink. Lisa now washes dishes in the bathtub for the five kids. Greer can't find more than intermittent consulting work. All of their savings have been poured into his defense and a civil suit he filed in 2010 against the state Republican Party. And he knows how likely it is he won't win. "I'm worried about going to jail," he says. "I am very scared. I wish I would never have been chairman."

Late at night, after his family has gone to bed, Greer fishes out newspaper clippings from years ago. They praise his political savvy and predict great things for him.

All alone, he thinks about what could have been.

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Cry me a river Jim and Lisa.  You rubbed everyones face in your high and mighty lifestyle.  Time to pay the piper.  You treated everyone around you as if they weren't good enough to be in your presence.  Karma is a bitch.  You deserve everything you get.  You brought it on yourselves and you know it.  You left alot of skidmarks on peoples backs, now we are all the last ones laughing.    Where's your plane and your boat now?  What a joke.  I'm just sitting back and enjoying the show.  Popcorn anyone?

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