Jim Greer, the divisive former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, has been arrested and charged with six felony counts stemming from allegations that he siphoned money from the party for his personal use. Greer is the first arrest stemming from a grand jury examining public corruption called for by Gov. Charlie Crist, the very same man who personally picked Greer to head the state GOP in 2006.
Greer was arrested at his Oviedo, Fl home this morning at about 9:15 a.m. and booked into a Seminole County jail where he was charged with committing a scheme to defraud, money laundering, and four charges of theft.
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Greer is believed to have funneled money from the party to a shell corporation he owned called Victory Strategies. Investigators believed he used at least $100,000 for personal use. Word of the possible charges first broke in late March.
Greer resigned under pressure as chairman in January after growing calls from major party donors. The party was plagued by growing scandalous allegation that GOP issued American Express cards has been improperly used (one of those cards was issued to GOP senate candidate Marco Rubio, formerly speaker of the house).
His downfall was also partially political, as he remained fiercely loyal to Gov. Crist, tried to minimize the efforts of Rubio to run a competitive primary campaign in the senate race, and was generally seen as too moderate.
"I think it's obviously disappointing and surprising. I have faith in our judicial system," Gov. Crist told reporters this morning. Though Crist also stated that he didn't feel any "complicit" in Greer's troubles.