Report: Halsey Beshears on subpoena list for Joel Greenberg-Matt Gaetz probe
Then-Rep. Halsey Beshears, R-Monticello. Image via Phil Sears

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The former Ron DeSantis agency head could be implicated in the sex trafficking scandal.

Court documents confirm Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears’ involvement in the federal case against Joel Greenberg.

Greenberg, former Seminole County Tax Collector, this week pleaded guilty to six federal charges including sex trafficking of a child. The case drew national attention thanks to allegations U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Panhandle Republican and cable news fixture, is the target of a related investigation for sex trafficking the same then-17-year-old girl.

A grand jury subpoena list obtained by POLITICO indicated interest by prosecutors in speaking to individuals connected to the case. That group included Gaetz, Beshears and Joe Ellicott, a political ally and former employee of Greenberg.

The appearance of Beshears on the list confirms news first reported via Twitter by Florida Politics Publisher Peter Schorsch in early April.

For months, reports on the case spotlighted political figures in the Greenberg-Gaetz circle of Republican political associates. With Greenberg apparently ready to cooperate with investigators and testify in other cases, speculation has amassed as to who else will be criminally implicated.

Beshears, the face of many COVID-19 business restrictions imposed in Florida last year, resigned from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration in January.

“It is in the best interest of my health, my family, and the department that I focus my full attention on getting well,” Beshears wrote in an email sent within the state agency.

While Beshears reportedly contracted COVID-19 during his tenure, sources said pending legal woes factored into his decision to quit.

The New York Times in April reported Beshears was among the prominent figures on a plane trip to the Bahamas central to the investigation of Greenberg. Also on the plane were Greenberg, Gaetz and Jason Pirozzolo, chairman of the American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association. An ex-girlfriend of Gaetz who may be cooperating with prosecutors was also reportedly on the flight.

Previously, Beshears served in the Florida House of Representatives. He was first elected in 2012 and left his position to take the agency head position as one of the Governor’s first appointees.

Gaetz, who served with Beshears in the Florida House before his election to Congress, notably headed DeSantis’ transition team.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


2 comments

  • Ray

    May 20, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    I have read that Gaetz took a commercial flight to the Bahamas. So he was on the trip to the Bahamas but he wasn’t on the flight to the Bahamas as you wrote in this article.

    • gabrielle pelley

      May 21, 2021 at 11:49 am

      He may have flown commercial but he flew to the same destination in the Bahamas where two private planes had taken some of his buddies and a number of women met through hookup websites.

Comments are closed.


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