Greer’s animosity was evident on almost every page of the deposition as he described the inner workings of a party that has controlled Florida since 1998.
On voter suppression, Greer said he had just completed a December 2009 meeting with party general counsel Jason Gonzalez, political consultant Jim Rimes and Eric Eikenberg, Crist’s chief of staff, when questions arose about fundraising.
“I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,’’ he said.
Rimes said he recalls no discussion of suppressing votes at any meeting. Eikenberg did not return phone calls.
Greer said party officials were questioning spending on fundraising trips to New York, Yankees games, limos, expensive cigars and other items when Gonzalez asked him if he had any ownership in Victory Strategies. Greer said he initially denied owning any interest in the company but later admitted it when he and Gonzalez were alone. Gonzalez told state investigators that Greer did not own up to his involvement in the business and threatened to sue anyone who made the accusation. A number of other party officials told state investigators they were unaware of Greer’s involvement in the company. Contacted this week, Gonzalez said he could not publicly discuss the case.
Asked about his failure to tell other officials, Greer said they didn’t ask.
Asked if he told party finance chairman John Rood, a Jacksonville businessman, Greer said Rood was “basically useless as finance chairman.’’
By late December 2009, Greer found himself under pressure to resign. He said he agreed to leave for the “betterment of the party’’ and in January 2010 signed a severance agreement that was to pay him the rest of his $130,000 for the year.
Greer said he got concerned when Haridopolos and Thrasher, who had both signed the agreement, began to publicly deny knowledge of it. Haridopolos later admitted signing it, insisting he had not read it.
“Around the party most people considered President Haridopolos to be not the brightest person, but I would assume he would have read the agreement before he signed it,’’ Greer said.
Greer had good words only for House Speaker Dean Cannon, saying the Orlando Republican tried to get others to live up to the severance agreement and promised to help him find a lobbying job and clients.
After others at the party refused to honor the severance agreement, Greer said Cannon and Haridopolos contacted his friend Jim Stelling to say that political consultants Pat Bainter and Marc Reicheldfer were going to pay Greer $200,000.
Despite promises of payment and a request from Bainter for information on where to wire the money, none was ever paid, Greer said. After he left the party, Greer said he heard that Thrasher was telling people they were going to have him arrested. A short time later, Greer was indicted by a statewide grand jury on charges of money laundering and fraud.
The charges and the party’s failure to pay him have ruined his life, Greer said.
“They took everything I worked for my whole life,’’ he added. Now his family is on food stamps, some of his possessions have been repossessed and his children watched their father being arrested.
“Any good thing I did at the Republican Party has been destroyed by these people,’’ he said. “I want my life back. I want them to say they are sorry for what they did to me.’’