Fla. GOP chairman pleads guilty to money laundering
ORLANDO, Fla. — The criminal trial of former Republican Party of Florida chair Jim Greer had promised to be embarrassing for party leaders, rising Republican star Marco Rubio and former Gov. Charlie Crist, who is contemplating a new political future as a Democrat.
But Greer’s guilty pleas on Monday to four counts of theft and a single count of money laundering ended the trial before it even started and ensured that some state GOP secrets will remain confidential, at least for the time-being.
“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.”
[The trial had threatened to expose the underbelly of Florida's dominant party and its high spending ways. Party officials took the heat from revelations of excessive spending at lavish restayrants and luxury hotels on party-issued American Express cards by Republican leaders, including marco Rubio.]
[Testimony about those expenditures by Rubio and others had been expected at the trial.]
["Topics covered in pretrial depositions included the use of prostitutes at a state GOP fundraiser in the Bahamas, their drinking habits, and intraparty strife.]