Headaches for Fla. GOP ahead in ex-chief's trial

February 11, 2013 - 9:30 AM
Florida Republicans Greer

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009 file photo, Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer talks with reporters after receiving a vote of confidence from the executive committee of the Florida Republican Party in Tallahassee, Fla. Greer's two-week trial starts Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 on theft, fraud and money laundering charges. Jurors will have to decide if Greer committed a crime when he channeled more than $200,000 of party money to his company, or whether the charges against Greer are revenge for the waning popularity of his political patron, former Gov. Charlie Crist, who defected from the Republican Party to run as an independent for the U.S. Senate and is now a Democrat. (AP Photo/Tallahassee Democrat, Bill Cotterell, file)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida is headed to trial in a case fraught with embarrassment for the party over allegations of lavish spending and questionable behavior.

Jury selection was set to start Monday in the trial of Jim Greer on fraud, theft and money laundering charges.

Testimony could cover alleged questionable behavior and intraparty strife.

Jurors will have to decide if Greer committed a crime when he channeled more than $200,000 of party money to his company, or whether the charges against him are revenge for the waning popularity of his political patron, former Gov. Charlie Crist.

The trial could have political ramifications for Crist and some prominent Republicans, including former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and current U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.