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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Politics

Serafin Gomez

Miami, FL

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Former Fla GOP Head Under Investigation

March 31, 2010 - 1:51 PM | by: Serafin Gomez

greerchmnMIAMI- Jim Greer, the former head of the Republican Party of Florida, is the subject of an “ongoing criminal investigation” by Florida authorities after a recent audit by the state GOP discovered that Greer allotted at least $200,000 to Victory Strategies LLC- a consulting,and fundraising firm he owned -while serving as chairman of the party.

“This information indicates there may have been criminal activity,” Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum (R) said in a statement.” Upon learning this very serious and concerning information, I immediately referred the matter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. ” The FDLE is the chief law enforcement agency in the state.

Current Florida GOP chairman John Thrasher said that he notified the attorney general after the internal audit found”that the Republican Party of Florida may have been the victim of illegal criminal activity on the part of one of its vendors, controlled by a senior-level official.”

According to the Associated Press,  Greer owned 60 percent of the firm, and former RPOF executive director Delmar Johnson owned the rest. The corporation was created as a private fund-raising group for the Republican Party.

Greer was a hand-selected by Governor  Charlie Crist (R) in 2007, but was ousted from his position in February after being a target by Tea-Partyists and Republican conservatives in the party.

The AP contributed to this report.

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Crist and Rubio have reacted to the Greer investigation:

Marco Rubio in a statement:

“I am deeply troubled by today’s news accounts about possible criminal activity under the previous Republican Party of Florida administration.  Because this is an open criminal investigation, it’s not appropriate for me to comment at this time.

“I applaud Chairman Thrasher for the work he has done to turn the page on the previous administration and restore donor and grassroots confidence in the new leadership of the RPOF.”

Charlie Crist speaking to the Miami Herald:

 

“I find it terribly disturbing to hear, but I know that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will certainly conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation,” Crist said. Asked if the investigation could tarnish leading Republicans, Crist, who’s trailing in polls as a U.S. Senate candidate, said: “I certainly hope that it does not. The acts of individuals are the acts of individuals, and that is for the people to decide.”

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