Until he entered his guilty pleas, Greer had contended that party leaders, including Crist, knew about the financial arrangement that gave Greer's company a cut of party money in exchange for fundraising efforts. Greer had said he was targeted because of his support for Crist, who later defected from the GOP to run as an independent for U.S. Senate but lost to Rubio. Crist is now a Democrat and is being touted as a potential challenger to incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott next year.
During the sentencing hearing, Chase once again said Crist knew about the financial arrangement with Greer.
Crist has denied ever knowing about the arrangement. Pre-trial depositions and an affidavit have offered conflicting statements as to how much Crist knew.
"If you're asking me, 'Do I think he knew?' I look at it in more simplistic terms," Williams said. "He is running the state at the time. Did he get lost in the weeds with Jim Greer fund-raising? ... We didn't share the concerns that the defense did."
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