It has been two years since officials at the Republican Party of Florida signed a controversial agreement to pay ousted chairman Jim Greer the remainder of his 2010 salary.
It would have cost the party about $124,000.
Instead, the party has already paid more than $260,000 to three Tallahassee lawyers who are defending the party, former chairman John Thrasher, Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon against a civil suit brought by Greer over the agreement.
And there is no end in sight.
A campaign finance report filed earlier this month indicates the party has paid Stephen Dobson $88,276, Steven R. Andrews $101,509 and Dean R. LeBoeuf $70,299. Dobson and Andrews are lawyers representing the party. Andrews also represented Cannon, but is now representing Brian Ballard, a lobbyist and fundraiser who is a witness in the case. LeBoeuf represents Haridopolos.
The report does not yet include payment of fees to lawyer Kenneth Sukhia, who is representing Thrasher.
A number of other witnesses have also hired lawyers, making the civil suit into a mid-summer bonanza for the capital's legal community.
Greer, meanwhile, says he is broke. His family is living on food stamps and his children have no health insurance. Greer has been unable to pay Damon Chase, the Lake Mary lawyer who represents Greer in the civil case and in a pending criminal case stemming from Greer's time as party chairman.
-- Lucy Morgan