Crist, Greer used party money for family vacations

Consider the other shoe dropped.  An audit of funds and credit cards for the Republican Party of Florida shows that both Jim Greer and Charlie Crist ran up thousands of dollars in personal charges, including family vacations for both men.  The Associated Press reports that the independent audit has cleared Marco Rubio of any wrongdoing:

Gov. Charlie Crist and Jim Greer, the disgraced former chairman of the Florida Republican Party, took family vacations on party money, an audit released today shows.

The two men and their families vacationed at Disney World in June 2009 and put the $13,435.99 bill on the party’s American Express credit card, the audit found. Greer also took three personal vacations to fashionable Fisher Island near Miami Beach, one including Crist, at a cost of $10,992.17, auditors reported.

Greer also charged $5,616.79 for his son’s baptism in May 2009 to the party, the report showed.

In another instance, the men’s wives arrived in New York City two days before a party fundraiser in September 2009 and charged nearly $1,600 to the party credit card on hotel and related expenses.

Crist had originally insisted that Rubio would have more questions to answer in the audit.  Not so:

The investigation seemed to clear one of Crist’s opponents, former House Speaker Marco Rubio of West Miami, of any wrongdoing, along with Senate President Jeff Atwater of North Palm Beach and state Rep. Dean Cannon of Orlando. Auditors reported they were satisfied with explanations given them by the men on any party credit card charges in question.

Rubio had promptly reimbursed the party for the charges on the campaign credit card, and had disclosed that activity when the scandal first broke.  The apparent clean bill of health puts the focus back on the current Governor of Florida and his hand-picked party chair.

Greer faces felony charges in connection to unrelated financial conflicts of interest.  Crist may well face some charges of his own if these findings are substantiated by investigators.