Former chairman of Fla. GOP gets 18 months

March 27, 2013 at 5:52 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., March 27 (UPI) -- Former Florida Republican Chairman Jim Greer was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison for stealing $125,000 in party funds.

Circuit Judge Marc Lubet imposed a sentence that was considerably less than the 42 months sought by prosecutors, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The judge ordered Greer to spend a year on probation after his release.

"You certainly in my opinion egregiously violated a position of trust," Lubet told Greer. "While you do need to go to prison for this, you don't need to go for 42 or 46 months."

A prosecutor argued that Greer should get a longer sentence because of his "abuse of the political process."

Greer, 50, rose rapidly from deputy mayor of Orlando to a prominent ally of Gov. Charlie Crist, who made him chairman of the state party in 2007.

Contributions to the party, however, dropped sharply under Greer. At the same time, there were complaints that party officials were spending lavishly.

Greer was charged in 2010 with diverting to his company, Victory Strategies. He pleaded guilty in February just before the case was to go to trial.

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