Sanford -- Former Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer must take his lawsuit against the Republican Party of Florida to Tallahassee. That’s the decision made Wednesday by Circuit Judge Alan A. Dickey. Noting that many of the witnesses live in and around Tallahassee, the judge overruled efforts by Greer’s lawyer to keep the case in Seminole County where he lives.
Greer filed suit against the party and Senate President Mike Haridopolos and former party chairman Sen. John Thrasher, R-St Augustine, last year after the party refused to honor a 2009 agreement to pay Greer $124,000 severance to leave.
Greer has since been indicted by a statewide grand jury on multiple counts of fraud related to the creation of Victory Strategies, a corporation that was paid more than $300,000 by the party. He is accused of secretly funneling money to the firm with the help of Delmar Johnson, former executive director of the party. Johnson has become a witness against Greer and is helping prosecutors in return for immunity from prosecution.
Tallahassee lawyer Steve Dobson urged the judge to transfer the case to the state Capital where party offices and many witnesses are located.
Lake Mary lawyer Damon Chase objected, saying Greer was entitled to keep the case in home county.
“I’m making the ruling to save everyone time,’’ the judge said.
A new judge will take over the case once lawyers for the state party pay the necessary filing fees in Leon County.
Lucy Morgan, Times Senior Correspondent