The latest saga revolving around Jason Wetherington has come to an end.
Wetherington, a former GOP staffer who boasted of having a sexual relationship with Charlie Crist in 2006, made headlines again in August when he was charged with stealing a wedding ring and other jewelry worth an estimated $19,000 from the daughter of Pastor Larry Thompson, of the First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale.
Wetherington was a family friend of the Thompsons and immediately after he was charged with two felonies, he hired veteran attorney John Contini, who is also a member of Thompson's church, confessed to the crime and asked the family for forgiveness.
I learned that today Broward Circuit Judge Matt Destry sentenced Wetherington to six months probation and
175 hours community service at the Broward Homeless Center and Women in Distress. Destry withheld adjudication, meaning that Wetherington was not officially convicted of the felony theft charges.
I spoke with Contini today and he said he was pleased with the result.
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"Jason still loves the Thompson family and he is still repentent," said Contini. "He has a big heart and he feels grateful. We're grateful he has no convictions now. We're glad he is able to go forward with his life."
Contini said that Wetherington's bout with the law has changed his life for the better on a number of levels.
"The deception runs deeper [than the jewelry theft]," Contini told me. "He was running from himself on a lot of levels. He has come to terms with a lot of the deception and the real deception is the lies we tell ourselves. He's not living a lie these days. He's telling the truth. He's going to meetings and staying sober. He's in a very good place spiritually emotionally and mentally. I believe he really does have a new energy based on the fact that he was set free on many levels by the truth."
The resolution of the case comes as a documentary about gay hypocrisy in the Republican Party featuring Wetherington hits HBO. My dog and me are also in Kirby Dick's terrific film, Outrage, which debuted on the network last night. I urge all of you to catch it not because I'm in it (quite the contrary) but because it really is an extraordinary and powerful movie.