Judge refuses to throw out case against Jim Greer

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An Orlando judge this week refused to throw out criminal charges against Jim Greer, former chairman of the Florida GOP, setting aside defense claims that prosecutors and agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement had failed to follow the law as they built their case against the fallen politico, writes Rene Stutzman.

That means that Greer still faces all six counts handed down by a statewide grand jury that accuse him of secretly setting up a shell company and then using it to funnel $125,000 into personal bank accounts.

On Tuesday, Greer’s attorneys traveled to Tallahassee and deposed three high-profile Florida GOP leaders: House Speaker Dean Cannon, former party Chairman John Thrasher and General Counsel Jason Gonzalez.

Still to be deposed: Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos and former party Executive Director Delmar Johnson,the Winter Garden political operative who is the state’s star witness and had been Greer’s partner in that shell company, Victory Strategies LLC.

A spokeswoman in Haridopolos’ office said Thursday that the senate president’s deposition had not yet been scheduled.

Cannon did not return a phone call. Neither did Johnson’s attorney, Robert Leventhal.

Circuit Judge Marc Lubet issued seven rulings Wednesday, each a defeat for Greer. Continue reading Rene Stutzman’s story here.

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.