SANFORD, Fla. (CN) – The former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida claims the party breached a secret severance deal by refusing to pay him consulting fees in exchange for his resignation. James Greer says his endorsement of Gov. Charlie Crist for a vacated U.S. Senate seat led to “a vicious campaign of personal character assassination” by supporters of Crist’s GOP primary opponent, Marco Rubio, former Florida House Speaker.
“Rubio’s supporters believed that the chairman should remain neutral and then embarked on a vicious campaign of personal character assassination against Greer in an attempt to oust [him] as chairman, claiming among other things that RPOF funds and credit cards had been used inappropriately,” Greer claims in Seminole County Court.
Greer and the Florida GOP agreed to part ways, he says, by promising to “release, acquit, and forever discharge each other” of any wrongdoing. Greer says he agreed to resign as chairman, and the party promised to retain him as a senior consultant through Jan. 31, 2011 at a salary of $11,250 per month.
Jason Gonzalez, general counsel for the Florida GOP, allegedly told Greer that the secret agreement would be put “in my safe and it’s never going to see the light of day.” Greer claims Gonzalez then sought to invalidate the deal in several subsequent phone calls.
Greer says he kept up his end the bargain and resigned, but the party refused to pay.
“Representatives of some of the signatories to the agreement have recently offered Greer $200,000 as ‘hush money’ to keep the agreement confidential despite RPOF’s clear breach,” the lawsuit states.
“As we have previously stated, no agreement was fully executed,” Gonzalez said in response to the allegations. “We haven’t made any payments and we never will.”
Greer named the Florida GOP and current Chairman John Thrasher as defendants in the contract lawsuit.
He is represented by Damon Chase with Chase Freedman, in Lake Mary, Fla.