June 3rd, 2010
02:26 PM ET
13 years ago

RNC weighs in on arrest of ex-Florida party chair

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/02/greermug.jpg caption ="The RNC spoke out in response to the arrest of ex-Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer, calling the accusations 'unacceptable.'"]
Washington (CNN) - The Republican National Committee broke its silence Thursday regarding the arrest of ex-Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer, one of Chairman Michael Steele's top supporters during his 2009 bid to lead the committee.

Greer was arrested Wednesday and charged with six felony counts stemming from a grand jury investigation into his activities while serving as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. Prosecutors allege that Greer set up a shell company in February 2009 to funnel money from the state party into his personal bank account.

RNC spokesman Doug Heye called the accusations "unacceptable" and said donors "have a right to know that that their hard earned money is being used, as they expect, to elect candidates who stand for their principles."

"We have complete confidence in the judicial system of the State of Florida and look forward to justice being served," Heye said in a statement to CNN. "Sweetheart deals and personal enrichment are every bit as unacceptable as the offering of political appointments to keep Democratic candidates out of primaries."

After endorsing Steele three weeks before last January's hotly-contested election, Greer quickly became one of Steele's most prominent backers within the RNC. Steele later backed Greer to chair the powerful RNC Rules Committee, a position Greer gave up when he resigned as Florida GOP chairman earlier this year under pressure from party activists upset his with handling of party funds.

Greer, who once considered his own bid to head the RNC, was also one of Steele's top financial backers during the six-way race for the chairmanship.

On Jan. 28, 2009, two days before Steele's victory, Greer directed $15,000 from his campaign 527 account to the "Steele for Chairman" committee, according to publicly available filings with the IRS. It was one of the largest direct contributions to Steele's bid by any donor.

Two weeks later, according to the affidavit filed Wednesday by Florida prosecutors, Greer tapped that same 527 account, the "Jim Greer for Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida Committee," for seed money to help open the shell company that ultimately landed him in the hands of Florida law enforcement officials.

Heye said the "Steele for Chairman" account is now closed.

UPDATE: Steele addressed the Greer scandal earlier this year, after Greer stepped down amid claims that he had mis-managed party funds, but before he was arrested.

"I don't like what I’m hearing" about how Greer was spending money at the RPOF, Steele told the Orlando Sentinel in February.

Steele also told the paper that he had "a very honest conversation" with Greer before he resigned from the party in January. He said he told Greer, “you have to make the people who put you in the job comfortable with what you’re doing.”

Filed under: Florida • Jim Greer • Michael Steele • RNC
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Deny deny deny deny. That's the first thing their attorney tells them.

    Don't EVER let it be brought to light, unless it's a democrat.

    PARTY of NO fighting death – it ain't pretty.

    June 3, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. cando

    The guy looks like Rush Limbuagh, thats all that needs to be said.

    June 3, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    this situation cannot compare to anythingthe Dems did..What they did was simply called POLITICS, as opposed to what this guy did which steal and break the law..There is no comparison, but once again the GOP are looking for any reason to criticize this Pres and the WH. What they fail to realize is that generla public is very much aware of what they are about and will focus on the truth....So please GOP give it up !!!

    June 3, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Ben in Texas

    If the RNC wants to clean up their act, why not call for the immediate indictment of Bush and Cheney for war crimes? All the rest of the errant Repugnants are small time crooks in comparison to the Bush regime.

    June 3, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  5. jonny

    Typical Republicans
    This is why smart people don't vote for them.

    June 3, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Gil

    Just being a member of the party of No we should know that he wants to line his pockets like the bankers, Wall Street and Oil Industry have under the eyes and support of the republican party.

    June 3, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Dano

    There's a lot of that going on in the GOP here in Florida. Greer is just the latest Republican crook caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Marco Rubio did the same thing when he was speaker of the house. He was replaced by Ray Sansom, who was indicted for funneling money to a college that hired him to an unadvertised job paying $100,000 the day he became speaker. These guys treat political contributions like their personal piggy banks.

    June 3, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. duffe

    What a suprsie. Another crooked politician.

    June 3, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Bob

    anybody that gets elected to public office ought to have his bank accts, assets and any financials tallied...then upon leaving office and up to five years later rechecked to make sure they did not inrich themselves...if they all of a sudden they are alot richer then straight to prison

    June 3, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I bet Jim Greer and Marco Rubio were in cahoots with each other. This corruption is a trend in the republican party.

    June 3, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. Marty, FL

    Oh sure, Doug Heyes. The RNC's "principles" appear as reprehensible as RPOF. Donors do not want their entrusted funds wasted on RNC voyeur clubs, Hawaii vacations, limos, etc. in addition to Rubio, Greer, & Cannon's RPOF credit card extravagance.

    Sorry, but Mr. Heyes has no credibility on this issue.

    June 3, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Captain Crunch

    On Jan. 28, 2009, two days before Steele's victory, Greer directed $15,000 from his campaign 527 account to the "Steele for Chairman" committee, according to publicly available filings with the IRS. It was one of the largest direct contributions to Steele's bid by any donor.

    Seems like "Maryland Gangsta Politics" as usual by the Chairman of the RNC!

    Oh, and did anyone notice how quickly Steele and Heye tossed this loser under the bus?

    June 3, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    LOL. These GOPers are priceless. So, to the GOP's collective "mind," the following are equal:

    1. Greer being arrested after a grand jury investigation determines that sufficient evidence exists to indicate that he embezzled money and committed other felonies to put money in his bank account that didn't belong to him.

    2. Obama's administration staff engaging in "horsetrading," a practice engaged in by every GOPer and Dem administration before his and never once leading to arrests, prosecuted as bribery, or EVER found by a court to constitute bribery under the applicable statutes.

    One would think that after all the p-ssing into the wind they've done over the past year and a half, the GOP would recognize that they're really the only ones getting wet. And before you argue otherwise guys, I'd be careful...anything that you think made it past that wind to hit Obama also hit the rest of the American people. We're tired of it. Put your diapers back on and quit fooling around. If you grow up a little, we might let you wear Pull-Ups.

    June 3, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. outraged

    You "poli-ticians" (many bloodsuckers) ALWAYS spit out the rhetoric (what you THINK (use the term loosely) we are stupid enough believe.
    Comon' this ARROGANCE AND GALL is EXACTLY why ALL dishonest "poli-ticians" days are numbered.
    You say " we are entitled to know how monies are spent". Corrupt politicians have been stealing,lying and cheating to "livin' the good life" at our expense. RNC/DNC and ANY other "many bloodsuckers" groups names have the same perception. Tell me-Why would ANY Business, scholar, or ANYONE spend $15 + million to get a 4 year job paying $150,000 year EXCEPT to enrich yourselves after you've lied during the campaign to GAIN A POSITION OF TRUST AND INTEGRITY..which many bloodsuckers DO NOT HAVE.
    The TRAIN is comin' and YOU'RE OUT. let the "next" many bloodsuckers be forwarned. You're OUT NEXT UNESS YOU VOTE OUR VOICE you're paid and elected to do.

    June 3, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |