Amid new allegations about Jim Greer’s alleged antics, Gov. Charlie Crist again pleaded ignorance Thursday to the stories that ultimately cost the former GOP chairman his job. Crist, who tapped the obscure activist for party chairman in 2007, said he was not aware of any men-only policies promoted under Greer.
Beth Kigel, a lobbyist, fundraiser and member of the state party executive committee from Palm Beach County, told investigators she had heard about a men-only trip to the Bahamas and that "women were involved and paid."
Crist, who attended the Caribbean getaway, said the event was organized to raise money for his Amendment 1 campaign. He did not recall whether any women attended the meetings, but he said accusations of female escorts or entertainment were, “absurdly false.”
Asked about Attorney General Bill McCollum’s role in the Greer investigation, Crist said, “The statewide prosecutor is doing a pretty good job from what I can see.”
In his official capacity, McCollum oversees the investigating agency and appointed the prosecutor who charged Greer.
Crist said, “This is an ongoing criminal investigation and I think we need to respect the process of that investigation.”
Crist said he submitted an affidavit detailing what he knew of Greer’s GOP reign without any prompting.
“I just thought it was a good idea,” he said. “You know, I am a lawyer. I thought it was smart to do.”
Greer faces six counts of grand theft, money laundering and organized fraud for a scheme in which he funneled $200,000 of party donations to a shell company he secretly owned.
Crist gave a sworn affidavit on May 10 and submitted it May 21. In it he denies knowing about Greer’s company and its secret agreement, and said he did not authorize Greer to enter into the contract.
Crist spoke to reporters about Greer after an appearance at a Florida Association of Counties conference in Tampa.