Joel Greenberg was the Republican tax collector of Seminole County, Florida. He was because he had to resign from his position in order to face charges of sex trafficking involving a minor. Greenberg was already facing charges of “stalking and stealing the identity of a political opponent and, in a second indictment filed this week, four counts of using his office to create fake driver licenses for himself.”
This August on federal charges that he used his access to state databases, as tax collector, to “recruit and solicit an underage girl for sex.” Greenberg reportedly created fake IDs and then engaged in a lot of extramarital behaviors, as well as “knowingly recruited and solicited a minor to engage in sex acts.” This is a precipitous fall for a man that Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida once promoted as someone the Republican Party should send out for congressional office.
Back in June of 2017, Rep. Gaetz posted a fun photo on his Facebook page of himself, Roger Stone, and Joel Greenberg (screenshot below for posterity), hanging in the summer of 2017. This is before those other guys were charged with numerous crimes. The photo is accompanied by Matty boy’s memory of the night: “Enjoyed dinner with Roger Stone and Seminole County Tax Collector (and 2nd Amendment champion) Joel Greenberg.” Good times!
This dinner seems to have come a little less than a month after Gaetz reportedly endorsed Greenberg for a potential congressional run during an interview on WFLA. Rep. Gaetz really thought Mr. Greenberg had the kind of pedigree he and other Republicans were looking for. Asked about who should run against Stephanie Murphy in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, Gaetz explained that “That is a Republican seat. That is a seat that really should be won by Republicans. Joel Greenberg has gone to the Seminole county Tax Collector’s office and been a disrupter. If you look at what people want in the country right now, they want that disrupter. A majority of that district is in Seminole County. Stephanie lives in Orange County. If Joel Greenberg were to run for congress from that district, I think he becomes the next congressman from the 7th district.”
Greenberg had to drop out of his bid for reelection as tax collector after charges that he stalked and attempted to smear his Republican opponent Brian Beute by posing as a “concerned student” and sending letters to the school where Beute works in order to falsely accuse him of sexual misconduct. He also, ironically (or not at all ironically), reportedly created fake social media accounts to smear Beute in other ways. Ways, in fact that the Sentinel reports have connected Greenberg to Roger Stone and the “dirty” tricks the convicted federal felon Stone is suspected to have been involved in.
Rep. Gaetz is also one of the names thrown out as a possible suspect for the Mueller indictment allegations that a congressional candidate asked for stolen documents on opponents from Russian intelligence entity Guccifer 2.0. And we all know about Roger Stone and his relationship to all of that. I mean convicted felon Roger Stone.
It’s no surprise that Rep. Gaetz loudly called for Stone to be pardoned by Trump. One hand washes the other.