Florida’s former Republican chairman is now the target of a criminal investigation by Florida State law enforcement, as is a company he reportedly hired to raise donations.
Jim Greer, who resigned in January from his position of state GOP chairman under pressure from accusations that he misspent party money, is the investigation’s target, according to the Washington Post.
While the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has not officially named Greer as the main target, a political source confirmed that he was the focus. The department did say that it was investigating “possible criminal activity surrounding a former senior official of the Republican Party of Florida and Victory Strategies, LLC,” according to the Post.
The Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported earlier that Greer was the majority owner of Victory Strategies, and that the company had brokered a contract that paid commissions on money raised for the Republican Party.
Greer has denied misspending any money belonging to the party, and was not reached for a recent comment about the state’s investigation.
Around when he resigned, Greer said he was falsely accused by members within the party that were looking to create a more conservative base among the state politicians.
The investigation notice comes on the heels of another spending issue with the Republican National Committee. The RNC is now being scrutinized after it was revealed that thousands were spent at luxury hotels, and close $2,000 was spent for meals at a Hollywood area nightclub, where apparently topless dancers and a bondage theme were part of the evening’s entertainment.
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, also a Republican, said that he learned around mid-March from the current state party chairman John Thrasher that details within the party’s financial audit may lead in a similar direction to the investigation.
“This information indicates there may have been criminal activity surrounding a former senior official of the Republican Party of Florida and a company called Victory Strategies, LLC,” McCollum said. “Upon learning this very serious and concerning information, I immediately referred the matter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.”
Thrasher, McCollum and representatives of the Florida State Law Enforcement Department all declined to offer any further comment about the criminal investigation.
Florida Democrats are now urging the state’s governor Charlie Crist, also a Republican, to bring in a special prosecutor to investigate both the fund raising contract and the accusations of improper spending.
Florida Democratic Party Chairman Karen Thurman said only a special prosecutor can legitimately determine what happened.