UPDATED: Jay Burmer's firms actually received more than $350,000 through a "strategic media planning" contract with the party. Read new details here.
As forensic auditors scour the finances at the Republican Party of Florida after the ouster of former Chairman Jim Greer, one agreement is sure to raise a red flag: $316,000 the party paid to Jay Burmer, a close friend to Gov. Charlie Crist.
In a 2 1/2 year period ending in December 2009, Burmer's company Green Wolf Group, LLC received about $10,000 a month, according to the party's federal campaign finance reports, to serve as an outside communications consultant to the party.
It's a vague description for apparently vague work. GOP party officials -- former and current -- said they knew little about Burmer's role and it's unclear whether he ever signed a contract with the party.
What is known is Burmer's connection to Crist, who put Greer at the helm of the party in November 2006 when he took office. It's not clear who authorized his contract, whether it was Greer or a request from Crist.
Crist said in an interview that he knew Burmer worked for the party and called him a smart guy.