In a trial that had the potential to uncover the corruption in the Florida Republican Party, Jim Greer, the former chairman of the Republican Party in Florida, plead guilty to four counts of theft and one count of money laundering. Greer was sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison for stealing $125,000 dollars of party funds.
Prosecutors say that Greer and his cohort, Delmar Johnson, channeled over $200,000 of party funds into a company he formed, and that Greer kept $125,000 of the funds for himself. Johnson was scheduled to be the prosecution’s star witness and was granted immunity for his testimony.
Greer’s trial had the potential to expose the fraud of Florida’s dominant political party and its formerly high spending ways. Luckily for the Florida Republican Party, Greer’s guilty plea ended the trial before it even started, and ultimately silenced any GOP secrets that could have been revealed in the case.
The prosecution’s case included allegations of prostitutes at a fundraiser in the Bahamas and other incriminating topics that would have been uncovered had the trial proceeded.
“There were a number of people who did not want this trial to go forward and the trial isn’t going forward,” Damon Chase, Greer’s attorney, said after the former chair entered his pleas in court. “Once again, Jim Greer is falling on his sword for a lot of other folks.”
According to Florida Party Republicans, Greer’s acknowledgement of guilt was what they wanted all along. Nevertheless, his sentence was an easy way to escape any negative allegations that would have been exposed in court.
Sara Papantonio is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.