“I was surprised when Greer was charged with a crime relating to setting up a company to do fundraising for RPOF, as Greer and Mr. Johnson were acting with the knowledge and approval of Gov. Crist,’’ Sargeant said.
Some of the men who made the Bahamas trip, including Crist, say they never saw anyone that looked like a prostitute. Most of those contacted by the Tampa Bay Times didn’t want to talk about the trip at all. Several didn’t return telephone calls or refused to comment when reached.
But the Times has learned from interviews with some who attended that the group initially stayed at the Abaco Beach Resort. Some of the participants, including Crist, moved to The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, a Ritz-Carlton resort on the second night.
Crist said he never heard anything about prostitutes or bad behavior. He said he moved to another hotel on the second night because he thought the accommodations were nicer.
At least one person who attended the gathering said he left the resort and stayed with a friend for the weekend because he was “uncomfortable.’’ The guest, Tallahassee lobbyist Slater Bayliss, would not say what made him uncomfortable.
“I thought there was something else going on,’’ Bayliss said. “It was one of those things you just have a gut feeling about that something else is happening.’
Bayliss said he did not see any prostitutes but heard about them after the trip.
“I showed my face, said hi to the governor and then disassociated myself with the trip, it just smelled of nefarious things,’’ Bayliss added.
Lobbyist David Rancourt said he decided against making the trip.
“It sounds like I made a great decision,’’ Rancourt added. “I heard there were girls and a lot of drinking. I was told the Bahamian government officials were aware of what was going on and that they were appalled. I was not there and thank God I didn’t go.’’
Rancourt did not offer specifics.