Federal prosecutors have indicted Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, charging him with stalking a political opponent.
The office of U.S. Attorney for Central Florida U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announced that Greenberg is being charged with stalking and the unlawful use of a means of identification of another person. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
The U.S. Attorney’s office maintained that Greenberg set up fake Facebook and Twitter accounts which alleged his opponent was a segregationist. The office also accused Greenberg of sending letters to the school where his opponent worked, alleging sexual misconduct. According to the indictment, Greenberg knew these allegations were false. According to the indictment, those letters were sent from “a very concerned student.”
The Twitter account Greenberg is accused of setting up had the name and likeness of an Orange County School employee. The U.S. Attorney’s office insisted that the account was set up by Greenberg and the false posts on it came from him, not the person in the picture of the Twitter account.
The indictment read that Greenberg had the intent to “harass and intimidate” his political opponent and cause the opponent “substantial emotional distress.”
Florida Daily reached out to Joel Greenberg for comment and update the story if he responds.
The indictment does not name the political opponent Greenberg targeted but Brian Beute is running against him in the August primary and is a school teacher.
Alan Byrd, a spokesman for the Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office, weighed in on Tuesday morning after the indictment.
“The Seminole County Tax Collector offices are fully operational and serving the citizens of Seminole County. As is always the case, day-to-day operations are being overseen by our Deputy Tax Collector Cynthia Torres and Chief Operating Officer Paula Prevatt, both of whom have worked at the office for more than 15 years,” Byrd said. “Any statements or information on today’s indictment should be directed to Joel Greenberg’s personal attorney.”
Click here to read the indictment.
Reach Mike Synan at firstname.lastname@example.org.