SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — What we know about Joel Greenberg’s limited time in office comes from two places: his public actions as Seminole County Tax Collector and his sprawling 33 count federal indictment.
In 2016 Joel Greenberg entered the GOP race to take on longtime Seminole County Tax Collector Ray Valdes. In a nasty Republican primary, Greenberg won and promptly started making waves.
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One of his first actions was to announce that his staff would start openly carrying firearms while on the job. Eventually then-Florida Attorney general Pam Bondi would inform Greenberg that, that was not allowed by law.
Greenberg would also start dabbling in cryptocurrency, saying his office would accept the currency as payments, although, according to the Feds this was all a ploy to siphon money out of the office and into his pocket.
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There were two traffic stops: one where Greenberg pulled over a driver for speeding, even though he is not a police officer, and another where he was pulled over for speeding and asked to be let off.
Meanwhile, Greenberg who ran against Valdes in 2016 calling him corrupt (an allegation the state investigated and found no probable cause) was hiring friends and family to work at the tax office in vague, yet high-paying jobs.
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This was all before 2019.
Before he allegedly created fake online accounts to harass a political rival accusing him of having sex with a student, before he was arrested by federal agents, before federal agents found fake IDs, before the initial dozen charges against him were expanded to include sex trafficking and bribery of a public official, before his connections to Congressman Matt Gaetz would spawn a separate investigation.