10 News Investigators: More Crist controversy over gay allegations and Senate appointment

6:37 PM, Jun 11, 2012   |    comments
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Tallahasse, Fla. -- There's more fallout from an explosive story the 10 News Investigators broke last week involving allegations that former Governor Charlie Crist paid two men to leave the state to hide his relationship with them.

That information comes from documents released by the Attorney General's Office as discovery in the criminal trial of former Republican Party Florida Chairman Jim Greer.

While the sexual orientation of an elected official might fall into the "Who cares?" category for many people, problems arise if that information is used to pressure an official to do something. Those are some allegations that are now coming forth.

One year ago, Greer told me the events surrounding the party were going to end badly and it is playing out exactly like that.

Two years ago, after Greer was arrested and claimed the governor approved his being paid for fundraising for the party, Crist said it was wrong and sad when people in a desperate situation say desperate things. 

Crist told me the same thing Friday night concerning the homosexual allegations, calling them a "pattern of delusional statements and outright lies."

He said the same thing about allegation that George LeMieux strong-armed Crist into appointing him to the U.S. Senate.

Greer says he and Crist's chief of staff, Eric Eikneberg  had a late night meeting with LeMieux to explain he wouldn't get the Senate appointment, or even an interview with Crist. Greer  says LeMieux told him, "After what I did for him, we'll see about that."

According to Greer, LeMieux had an unscheduled meeting with the governor. Twenty minutes later, Greer says he got a call saying LeMieux was the Senate choice.

That has prompted representative Connie Mack, who is running for the Senate nomination against LeMieux, to have his chief counsel write a letter to the Justice Department suggesting LeMieux got the Senate appointment by using extortion or bribery by threatening to disclose harmful information, presumably about the two men paid to leave the state.

The LeMieux campaign told me today these allegations are ridiculous and categorically false. George put no pressure on the governor for the appointment and was honored to be interviewed and selected for the position.

If Greer does go to trial June 30th it could be embarrassing for some of the top political leaders in the state, as information will come out about credit card use and a high-flying lifestyle. It could also put a damper on the national GOP convention scheduled less than a month later in Tampa.

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