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Friday, June 26, 2020

After resigning from office, former Seminole Tax Collector Joel Greenberg drops out of re-election race

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 3:54 PM

click to enlarge IMAGE VIA JOEL GREENBERG/FACEBOOK
  • Image via Joel Greenberg/Facebook

Enterprising bigot and former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg followed up on his resignation from office on Wednesday by dropping his re-election campaign as well on Friday.

Though the move was expected after federal indictments on stalking and identity theft against him were revealed on Tuesday, Greenberg is known for shady financial practices involving his own office and campaigns – so it's a relief for Seminole County residents that he might finally be retreating from public life.

This was to be Greenberg's first re-election bid, despite having pledged to serve only one term, and he faced a once-crowded field of contenders which still includes former Real Radio 104.1 host Lynn "Moira" Dictor. A cryptocurrency fanatic, Greenberg had self-financed most of his campaign war chest, giving himself two donations totaling 30 Bitcoin, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On June 9, Panhandle congressman and eternal frat guy Matt Gaetz donated the maximum of $1,000 to Greenberg's re-election campaign, as did former Florida House Speaker Chris Dorworth the next day.

Not coincidentally, one of the other opponents to drop out Friday is no-party-affiliated candidate Daniel Day, a business associate of Greenberg's who was using the nickname "Dani Mora Day" on the ballot, a transparent effort to confuse voters and slice off a few points from Dictor.

The remaining Republican challengers, Trinity Preparatory School teacher Brian Beute and mortgage broker J.R. Kroll, will face off in an Aug. 18 primary to see who will take on Dictor in the general election on Nov. 3. Greenberg is charged with making repeated false allegations to the school against Beute, posing as a "very concerned teacher" through a fake social media account.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will name a temporary replacement to fill Greenberg's place until the end of his term on Jan. 4.

This may end the political career of Greenberg, who also shared on Facebook last month that he tested positive for COVID-19, but his legacy of anti-Muslim bigotry and corruption will likely continue to generate headlines.

In August 2018, he was called upon to apologize or resign for sharing a social media post that stated, "Very simple question...Name just ONE society in the developed world that has benefited in ANY WAY from the introduction of more Muslims. Just one. Asking for a friend."

In October 2018, a Muslim woman Greenberg had fired from the county office filed a discrimination lawsuit against him, and later that month other former employees alleged he fired them for supporting his incumbent Republican opponent in the 2016 primary.

In September 2019, the Orlando Sentinel reported Greenberg had formed a private company, headquartered within his public office, as part of a plan to "migrate information from drivers licenses, property taxes and other functions" onto a private, encrypted database.

In October 2019, the Sentinel also reported Greenberg had set up consultant contracts and salaries with friends and associates totaling $3.5 million, which also revealed Greenberg had planned to spend $109,000 on his blockchain scanning project. Earlier this year, Greenberg was accused by another former employee of plotting a Bitcoin ransom scheme against his own tax collector's office.

Voters will likely not miss Greenberg's distracting antics – or schemes involving taxpayer dollars – so now the election can focus instead on choosing a qualified replacement.

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