Indicted former GOP Chairman Jim Greer is asking a judge to put his civil lawsuit against the Republican Party of Florida on hold until his criminal case is finished.
Greer sued the party in May after FDLE acknowledged the criminal investigation that led to six felony charges earlier this month ranging from money laundering to organized fraud concerning a secret contract he authorized to skim party contributions to a company he owned. He contends the party never paid him the $124,000 owed under a severance agreement signed by party leaders in exchange for his resignation.
Greer's attorney, Damon Chase of Lake Mary, filed a motion to abate at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Seminole County court. "In as much as Greer's criminal indictment appears more, at least in part, to be the latest attempt in a long line of attempts by RPOF to avoid its obligations under the the severance agreement, Greer respectfully requests this honorable court abate the instant matter until resolution of the criminal matter as opposed to outright dismissing his facially meritorious claim," Chase states in the motion obtained by the Times/Herald.
The documents filed with the court include a number of new details that indicate incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon repeatedly assured Greer that the party would honor the contract even after the interim executive director, Bret Prater, tried to end the deal.
According to emails between the parties, Prater revoked the severance offer on Feb. 17. Greer responded 40 minutes later saying he just spoke with Cannon who "reiterated the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of the executed agreement through the election Saturday and his commitment that all provisions of the agreement would be adhered to," the emails indicate.
(The election refers to the Feb. 20 Florida GOP meeting where party leaders picked Chairman John Thrasher to succeed Greer. Thrasher signed the severance as the future party leader before the election -- an agreement that when later revealed infuriated GOP activists.)
In a subsequent email, it appears Greer spoke again with Cannon, who assured him that Prater acted without authority. Greer said Cannon told him "that all parties (including Thrasher) are in agreement of its validity and that a correction will be sent," the documents state.
Thrasher contended all along the agreement was not valid.