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State releases secret tapes in Greer case

11:44 PM, Jul 26, 2012   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida -- The state released hours of secret audio tapes that former Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer says is the smoking gun that will clear him.

Greer is charged with stealing money from the Republican Party by forming a fundraising company while he was chairman and paying himself.

However, Greer says he didn't do anything illegal when he formed the company and was paid a commission for fund raising.

More than two years ago, the Florida Department of law Enforcement tried to gain evidence against Greer by having his partner in the fundraising firm, Delmar Johnson, wear a wire and talk to Greer in his home and at a bar. 

However, much of the conversation indicates Greer was in the dark and confused, and Johnson, the state's key witness, was running the fundraising company.

Listen to the audio tapes: Part 1 and Part 2

In one exchange, Johnson tells Greer about the money that was distributed and Greer says, "Hold on a second. So I can figure this out, tell me that again."

Johnson says, "That's right after the election, we were sitting there doing the bonuses. We told Bobby to cut a check. It was right around the time and Abby cut a check for forty grand to Victory Strategies."

Victory Strategies was Greer and Johnson's company. Greer says, "She did?"

Greer also tells Johnson his attorney didn't want him to talk to his partner, saying Johnson was a "stoolie."

Greer says to Johnson, "I told my attorney 'You are making it sound as if I have something to hide.'"

He adds, "I'm not going to perjure myself. I thought we did good for the party."

He also says he can't understand why the party leaders hated him so much and says, "I guess I could have kissed their ass more."

However, Johnson says the leaders never liked his style and it is because Greer was never one of them and never would be. A major reason the leaders wanted Greer out of the way is because he was a Charlie Crist appointee and supporter, and the leaders wanted Marco Rubio in the Senate instead of Crist.

Greer says the leaders of the party were aware of everything he was doing and signed a severance agreement saying everything he did as chairman was proper and legal. The party was supposed to pay him a year's salary, but refused to honor the signed agreement when the rank and file of the party objected.

Greer is now suing the party. His criminal trial has been pushed back from next week until November.

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