Charlie Crist accuses Jim Greer of extortion

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Former Gov. Charlie Crist told state law enforcement agents last year that he thought former Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer might be trying to extort money from him, based on a long voice mail warning that “hurtful” things might be released about Crist, the Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday. Greer, who is set to go on trial this summer in a criminal case in which he is charged with essentially defrauding the party in a fundraising scheme, left a voice mail for Crist in June 2011. In it, he said his friendship with Crist was over, that he could no longer afford his house or his children’s insurance, and that “there’ll probably be things coming out that are going to be very hurtful” to Crist and his wife. The Times reported that Crist turned the message over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement because it sounded like Greer was trying to get money. Greer’s wife Lisa Greer responded to the story in a Facebook message reported on by the Miami Herald, saying that there’s no extortion implied in the call and law enforcement must agree. “Clearly FDLE agreed or they would have talked to Jim over a year ago,” Lisa Greer said.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.