Joel Greenberg’s Stalking Victim Opens Up About Former Collector Seminole’s Guilty Plea
ORLANDO, Florida – The man who investigators said was the target of an online smear campaign by Joel Greenberg spoke to media on Monday as the former Seminole County tax collector pleaded guilty in federal court in six counts, including child sex trafficking.
Brian Beute, a teacher at Trinity Preparatory School, ran against Greenberg in the 2020 Republican primary for the tax collector’s office. During that run, Greenberg created fake social media accounts and wrote an anonymous letter in an attempt to portray Beute as a racist and child molester, investigators said.
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âI am not a politician and I never planned to be in politics. I’m a teacher in a small school and a small community who simply saw the need to replace someone who takes advantage of ordinary citizens like me, âBeute said ahead of Greenberg’s guilty plea.
The investigation into the Beute attack ultimately led to Greenberg’s arrest for stalking. These harassment allegations then led Greenberg to face charges ranging from child sex trafficking to fraud, and federal authorities deepened the collector’s operations in and around the office.
Beute believes Greenberg’s misdeeds should have been discovered by the state earlier.
âFrom 2016 to 2019, prior to my campaign, the Florida state monitoring system was either complicit or failed to monitor the Seminole County Tax Collector‘s Office. Why? Who is responsible for this failure? said Beute. “Under a functioning and effective system of checks and balances, it is quite possible that some crimes could have been avoided and that today’s events may never have taken place.”
Beute, who said he was a longtime Republican, said he had asked the governor’s office to open a “full investigation” into the agencies overseeing the tax collector’s office.
âThe Department of Revenue has direct oversight over the tax collector’s offices in Florida. Okay, so that’s number one, âBeute said. âThe citizens of Seminole County have known about this for some time, the media has been talking about it since 2016. Why are we here today? So we have a surveillance problem in Florida, and it needs to be resolved – whether it’s the governor’s investigation, and it turns out to be legislation – it needs to be resolved. “
Beute said he believed politicians like Greenberg had profited from people’s disengagement from their local government. He encouraged others to get more involved in their local politics.
âAnd that’s, again, one of the reasons I ran in the first place. It was no secret to you, you talked about the shenanigans between 2016 and 2019. I’m actually surprised that more Republicans didn’t come forward against him, âBeute said, but added:â Actually, I may rephrase that. Maybe I am not. So there has to be a reform in our culture – in the hearts of the people. “
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