UPDATED: Alleged Crist Paramour Accused of Stealing Wedding Ring From Pastor's Daughter

Jason Wetherington, the young Republican staffer who boasted to numerous witnesses of having an affair with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and was recently featured in the movie Outrage, has been booked on felony charges related to a theft from the daughter of Pastor Larry Thompson, who leads the large and influential First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale.

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Wetherington

UPDATED: Wetherington was charged on August 5 with grand larceny, dealing in stolen property, and false verification of ownership, said Fort Lauderdale Police Sgt. Frank Sousa.

Pastor Thompson's daughter, Jennifer Thompson Jones, reported to police that Wethington, a longtime family friend and member of her father's church, was housesitting her Las Olas condo in late July. When she returned, he was gone -- along with three rings, including her wedding and engagement rings, worth a total of 

$19,000, according to the probable-cause affidavit.  

Police investigated and found that Wetherington had pawned the rings at a shop called Diamonds by the Cove in Deerfield Beach on July 20, according to the affidavit.  

I contacted Wetherington, who is apparently living in Georgia, on the phone and asked him about the criminal charges.

"Let me stop you now," Wetherington said. "I'm going to tell you that I don't have any comment, and I'm going to pass your number to my attorney, and he'll get in contact with you."

The story goes deeper. The Pulp was sent a Facebook posting on Sunday written

by Thompson Jones warning friends about Wetherington. In it she claims Wetherington admitted to stealing her wedding rings and that he also rifled $5,000 from Pastor Thompson's family safe. The latter allegation is not mentioned in the police reports. From Jones' Facebook posting:

I won't go into all the details but eventually Jason Wetherington confessed to stealing my ring and selling it as well as stealing $5000 from my parents safe, and stealing from many other people who I do not have the right to share.

Jason clearly has serious problems that go beyond substance abuse which does not stop with his friendships. He expressed to me that he feels better by hurting those who have helped him and supported him. I am pressing felony charges against Jason. As a counselor I recognize the reality of continuing to help someone who never has to face any consequences. I can not be an enabler to Jason. I pray for Jason and I hope that he gets the help he needs.

The 24-year-old Wetherington has long been a member of Thompson's prominent downtown church and, however this shakes out, it's a sad case. Wetherington was a rising GOP star as a teen, serving as a page in Tallahassee and as the student liaison for the Broward County School Board. From there, he served as an aide to state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff and as a regional field director for Katherine Harris' U.S. Senate campaign.

It was while working for Harris that he told numerous independent sources that he was having an affair with Crist and came out as gay to Pastor Thompson. When I confronted him about his boasts, Wetherington admitted he knew Crist and had applied for a job in the governor's office but denied making the boasts. Crist denied knowing Wetherington at all. When I wrote about Wetherington and another Harris staffer who claimed to have had an affair with Crist (Bruce Carlton Jordan, a felon himself), Hollywood attorney Todd Payne swooped in to represent Wetherington, who was removed from the state prior to Crist's election.

More recently, the Wetherington story was featured in the documentary Outrage, a powerful film about gay hypocrisy in the Republican Party. The last time I heard from Wetherington was two years ago, when he had a bizarre concern regarding his Match.com page. Here's Thompson-Jones' entire Facebook note:

--------------------
Subject: Jason W

Please read this important message:

Hello.

This is a strange and difficult e-mail for me to write. I apologize it's through facebook but it was the easiest way for me to get in contact with most of you. I want to begin by letting you know I do not write this to defame or gossip, I am writing this out of concern for those who could potentially be hurt as I and my family have been.

As many of you saw and expressed concern, I had a very difficult time earlier this week. All of you know that my marriage was ended this year .... I have lost my husband, my home, all my friends in TX and a life that I had many dreams about. My wedding ring and my beautiful son are really the only two signifigant pieces of my marriage I had left ... Also, as a single mom I was holding on to the ring in case there was ever a time when I may need to sell it to help support [my son] and I.

This week I found out my engagement and wedding ring were stolen.

I won't go into all the details but eventually Jason Wetherington confessed to stealing my ring and selling it as well as stealing $5000 from my parents safe, and stealing from many other people who I do not have the right to share.

Jason clearly has serious problems that go beyond substance abuse which does not stop with his friendships. He expressed to me that he feels better by hurting those who have helped him and supported him. I am pressing felony charges against Jason. As a counselor I recognize the reality of continuing to help someone who never has to face any consequences. I can not be an enabler to Jason. I pray for Jason and I hope that he gets the help he needs.

As Jason has expressed no remorse for taking from those who care about him, I felt it was appropriate for me to let you know as his friends to be cautious of how you open yourself up to him.

Jen

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