The secretary of a local Republican Party in Florida, who was convicted in a brutal 2007 hammer attack on a high school classmate in Los Angeles, can keep his position, state party leaders have decided.
Rupert Tarsey was elected to the Broward County Republican Executive Committee in May as a party newcomer, outscoring two challengers who’d been around longer. But a few months later, committee members discovered that the 28-year-old had changed his name several years ago and hid a violent past.
When the revelations reached the board in September, some called on him to resign. He refused.
The committee’s chairman, Bob Sutton, tried to suspend him. Tarsey filed a grievance against Sutton with the Florida Republican Party, arguing Sutton didn’t have the legal authority to take that action. Sutton’s attorney filed a cross-grievance against Tarsey.
Florida Republican Party Chairman Blaise Ingoglia resolved those grievances last week, putting both men on probation — Tarsey for one year, Sutton for six months.
Ingoglia also issued a sharp rebuke of Tarsey, saying that anyone with a criminal record is an embarrassment to the party and should resign.