A judge has sentenced former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer to 18 months in prison.
Greer pleaded guilty to theft and money laundering charges on Feb. 11.
“It’s a beautiful day,” Greer said, while holding hands with his wife as the two walked into the Orange County Courthouse.
The judge said he would suspend the extra 24.6 months recommended by the prosecution if Greer completes a year of supervised probation.
He faced up to 35 years in prison.
Greer made the decision to accept the plea deal moments before a jury was to be selected in the case.
As part of the plea deal, Greer paid $65,000 to the Republican Party of Florida as restitution and also dismissed a civil suit against the RPOF.
The trial was expected to be a tell-all case, airing the party’s dirty laundry for all to see.
This has been an ordeal since 2010 when Greer resigned and was arrested shortly after.
As part of the guilty plea, he admitted to stealing fundraising money from the Republican Party of Florida and funneling into his own business he created called “Victory Strategies.”
Greer had refused to take a plea deal until the very last moment, saying he was going to “sing like a songbird” and not go down without a fight. He blamed his fellow party members for knowing what was happening with the money and how it was handled.
Greer’s attorney said his client took the plea to do what was right for his family and “fall on his sword rather than burn down the house.”
Greer says he did not create and run Victory Strategies on his own, which factored into the judge’s decision.