With the July 30 trial date of former Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer approaching, witness-tampering allegations are flying between lawyers representing Greer, who is charged with fraud and money laundering, and former Gov. Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg, a critical prosecution witness.
According to a WTSP TV news report released Friday, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investgation of the case contains information about Crist engaging in gay affairs.
The TV report, later picked up by the stations' newspaper partner, the Fort Myers News-Press, says that Greer's attorney, Damon Chase of Lake Mary, claimed that if he was forced to depose Crist, embarassing allegations could come out.
In an updated report, WTSP's Mike Deeson said he was contacted by Crist who called the statement's "delusional lies" and that Chase's tactics amount to witness tampering or extortion. Attorney John Morgan of Morgan and Morgan, who is Crist's employer, told the Tampa Bay Times that he was told to have Crist change his testimony about the case or have Crist face "embarassing personal questions."
Greer is charged with fraud, money laundering and theft of almost $200,000 from the Florida Republican Party. The charges involve his creation of Victory Strategies, a consultant that billed the party for consulting work. Greer faces trial July 30 in Orlando. Crist's involvement centers on an affadavit in which he says he knew nothing about Greer's creation of the consulting business and subsequent billing to the party.
Morgan told the Tampa Bay Times that Chase has proposed a new afffadavit in which Crist would say he was aware of Greer's activities.