National Digest: Former Florida GOP chairman sentenced to prison

March 27, 2013
florida
Former state GOP chairman sentenced

The former chairman of the Florida Republican Party was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison for money laundering and stealing party funds.

Jim Greer, who resigned as state party chief shortly before his 2010 indictment, also was ordered to serve a year of probation.

Greer, 50, pleaded guilty last month to five charges, averting a trial that threatened to reveal potentially embarrassing details about the state party organization. As part of his plea deal, an organized fraud charge against him was dropped. Greer paid the party $65,000 in restitution, spokesman Steven Dobson told the judge.

While serving as the party’s paid chairman, Greer concealed his partial ownership of a company hired by the party to handle fundraising in exchange for 10 percent of all major contributions.

— Reuters

arkansas
State Senate votes to override ID veto

The Arkansas Senate voted Wednesday to override Gov. Mike Beebe’s (D) veto of legislation that would require voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot.

The Republican-led Senate voted 21 to 12 to override the veto. The House has yet to vote on it. Each chamber needs only a simple majority to override a veto.

The bill, which Beebe vetoed Monday, would require the state to provide free photo IDs to voters who don’t have one, at an estimated cost of $300,000. Arkansas currently requires poll workers to ask for identification, but voters can still cast a ballot if they don’t have one.

— Associated Press

new hampshire
State House votes to repeal deadly force

New Hampshire’s Democrat-controlled House of Representatives narrowly voted Wednesday to repeal a controversial 2011 law that expanded the rights of citizens to use deadly force rather than retreat when they felt threatened.

The proposed change may face tougher odds in the state Senate, which is controlled by Republicans. If repealed, the state would return to the “castle doctrine” under which there is a duty to retreat from a threatening situation unless it occurs inside a person’s home.

— Reuters

Girlfriend adoption voided: An appellate court judge has voided a Florida polo club owner’s adoption of his longtime adult girlfriend, saying it has no purpose and cannot be confirmed by a court. John Goodman, 49, was sentenced to 16 years in prison last year for a fatal drunken driving crash. A lawyer for the crash victim’s family says Goodman’s 2011 adoption of Heather Laruso Hutchins, 42, would shield his fortune.

— From news services

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