|Published:||Sep 24, 2012 4:59 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 24, 2012 4:59 PM EDT|
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The trial of a former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida is being pushed back to next year as his defense attorney haggles with GOP attorneys over party emails.
A judge on Monday ordered Jim Greer's trial to start Feb. 11. 2013. It had been set for November after earlier being pushed back from last summer.
Some of the most prominent Florida Republicans are named as witnesses for Greer's trial on charges that he funneled GOP money to a private company he formed with an associate.
Greer is pleading not guilty.
Greer's attorney, Damon Chase, said the emails are crucial to his client's defense but party officials are asking more than $100,000 to produce them. He said the true cost should be under $1,000. Given that Greer has little money, he wouldn't be able to afford the emails, his attorney said.
"It's totally out of line with reality," Chase said.
But GOP attorney Stephen Dobson said that price is fair since an IT worker will have to go through 100 different computers, 124 mailboxes and 17 servers.
"This isn't smoke and mirrors," Dobson said. "This is what the IT guy says."
A hearing on the cost is set for November.
Circuit Judge Marc Lubet said he had to balance Greer's right to a fair trial with the party's right to privacy. He said the email queries would be limited to Greer, his former associate Delmar Johnson and the company they formed, Victory Strategies. Johnson is cooperating with investigators in exchange for immunity.
After the hearing, Greer said he has been getting by financially with help from his family and hospitality consulting gigs.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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