Did George LeMieux Extort Charlie Crist Over Gay Rumors to Get Senate Seat? Jim Greer Thinks So
Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer is preparing for his trial on several corruption charges. His former friend and ex-Governor Charlie Crist is cooperating with the prosecution. So, in what seems like a pretty shady and downright desperate move, Greer's camp is leaking several rumors to the press alleging that Crist is a hot mess of a closet case.
Greer's latest rumor mongering: Sen. George LeMieux threatened to reveal Crist's sexuality unless he was appointed to Mel Martinez's vacated Senate seat. Though, both LeMieux and Crist deny that's what happened.
LeMieux and Crist go way back. LeMieux ran Crist's successful 2006 gubernatorial campaign, and served as his chief of staff during Crist's tenure as both attorney general and governor. When former Sen. Mel Martinez retired from the Senate in 2009, Crist appointed LeMieux, who was little known outside of Tallahassee circles, to the seat. Crist himself had decided to run for that seat outright in 2010, and many speculated he picked a loyalist like LeMieux so he wouldn't be tempted to run for the seat himself.
The latest rumors come from Tampa TV station WTSP, and, well, the report is pretty flimsy and horribly written. Here's the gist of it. LeMieux found out that Crist had decided not to appoint him to the seat, and allegedly told Greer, "After all I did for him, we'll see." LeMieux then requested a meeting with Crist, and, what do you know, 20 minutes later the Senate seat was his.
Greer, based on no apparent proof, believes that LeMieux threatened to reveal information about Crist's supposed homosexuality if he didn't get the seat. Greer was not in the room for the meeting.
Both LeMieux and Crist deny those allegations.
"People in desperate situations say desperate things," LeMieux, who is now busy running for Florida's other senate seat, tells the station.
Greer is certainly in a desperate situation. He's facing six felony charges, including fraud, money laundering, and grand theft, over allegations that he siphoned over $100,000 from the Republican Party of Florida into his own pockets through a company called Victory Strategies, LLC.
He's getting no help from his former Republican colleagues, and Crist is cooperating with the prosecutors. Last week, Greer's camp leaked rumors to the same Tampa TV station alleging that Crist paid two men he had affairs with to leave the state, and once tried to run over people while drunk driving a golf cart. Crist has denied those allegations, and Greer's camp has offered no proof. Crist's lawyer further filed witness tampering claims against Greer's lawyer. In fact, Greer's lawyer had written an email to Crist's threatening to air dirty laundry about the ex-gov unless he changed his testimony against Greer.
Whats other rumors will Greer leak next? That Crist liked to wear a mesh jockstrap while delivering his State of the State address? Crist locked himself in his office with bottles of Jack and Jergins and a box of tissues to watch Anderson Cooper?
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.