Jim Greer, Former Florida GOP Chair, Pleads Guilty

Former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, Jim Greer, was headed to trial on fraud, theft and money laundering charges after allegations of big-time spending and shady behavior surfaced.

But, in a surprising twist, Greer has accepted a plead deal Monday morning and has pled guilty.

See also:
Jim Greer: Racism and Dead Bodies Ahead

The first charge -- fraud -- has been dropped, but Greer is pleading guilty to four counts of grand theft, with the charge of money laundering being reduced.

Greer, 50, was swaddled with allegations of hookers at a lavish GOP fundraiser in the Bahamas, going big on fancy restaurants and luxury hotels, and funneling a reported $200,000 of GOPer money to a company he had control of.

"I believe I've made decisions that aren't ethical, yes," he told New Times in an exclusive interview published late last month. "But making unethical decisions doesn't mean you're not an ethical person. Still, there were terrible mistakes."

Greer was vice mayor of a small central Florida town when then-Gov. Charlie Crist picked him to be the state party chairman in 2006. At the time, the selection came as a surprise. Greer was instrumental in getting Crist elected.

Greer was removed as party Charman when the allegations surfaced. He was arrested in June of 2010 after being indicted on six felony charges.

He was facing up to 75 years in prison before taking his plea bargain.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph