ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Former Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer's trial on criminal fraud charges could begin as scheduled next year, his lawyer said Wednesday, after he reached a deal for a technology expert to search GOP computer servers for emails that could help the defense.
In September, Judge Marc Lubet set a Feb. 11 start date for trial.
"I think it has to" begin as scheduled, Greer's attorney David Chase said. "All (Greer) wants is for this to over."
Greer will pay a $125 hourly rate for a GOP information technology worker to supervise the searches by a defense computer expert. Chase expects the process to take no more than a day, which would speed along the discovery process.
Chase and GOP lawyer Stephen Dobson made the agreement on the emails outside of the courtroom before the beginning of a hearing on what work would be involved in turning them over. Under the deal, any information the GOP believes is privileged will be reviewed by Lubet to determine if it can be used by the defense as evidence.
Some prominent Florida Republicans are named as witnesses for Greer's trial on felony charges that he funneled GOP money to a private company he formed.
Greer, who is pleading not guilty, believes emails exist that show his conduct as the leader of the state GOP did not violate any laws.
Party officials had asked the defense team for $100,000 to produce and print the emails, while Chase argued that the true cost should be under $1,000.
Given that Greer has little money, Chase said he wouldn't be able to afford the original price tag.
Dobson had argued that the $100,000 price was fair since an IT worker will have to go through 100 different computers, 124 mailboxes and 17 servers.
Chase said the defense is requesting access to only two servers for the material they are searching for.
Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)