Matt Morgan deleted a tweet that showed him socializing with Matt Gaetz
Morgan deleted the tweet days before the Orlando Sentinel even contacted him about Rep. Gaetz and accused child sex trafficker/former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg in the first place.
|David Bixenspan||Apr 15||3|
On Tuesday afternoon, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Matt Morgan, the mostly-retired professional wrestler turned member of the City Commission in Longwood, Florida, was one of the latest politicians to be wrapped up in the scandal involving Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and former Seminole County, Florida Tax Collector Joel Greenberg. (That night, Morgan did not assume his usual spot on WrestlingInc.com’s WWE NXT review show.) Greenberg has faced a litany of federal charges since initially being indicted for stalking a political rival last June, including sex trafficking of a child and financially supporting people in exchange for sex, with at least one of the latter being underage. The New York Times first reported on March 30th that Gaetz was being investigated over his connections to Greenberg, specifically if Gaetz had a sexual relationship with an underage girl and had paid for her travel to enable said relationship. Since then, there had been a steady drip of further reporting on the story from numerous news organizations, citing a mix of government sources, public records, and copies of Gaetz and Greenberg’s previously public Venmo payment activity.
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What Sentinel reporters Jason Garcia and Annie Martin found was that Matt Morgan appeared to be a beneficiary of Greenberg’s efforts to gift vaguely defined government jobs and contracts to his friends. According to the article, Blueprint Enterprises LLC, a company owned by Morgan, started receiving payments of $4,500/month from the Seminole County Tax Collector in October 2019. This would go on for nine months, with Morgan receiving a total of $40,500. The Sentinel acquired the disbursement report for “Blueprint Enterprises/Matt Morgan” via a public record request under Florida’s Sunshine Law; though the document was not included in the article, Garcia shared a copy with me. It shows Morgan invoicing the Seminole County Tax Collector for all of October 2019 on October 30 before invoicing for $2,250 every two weeks thereafter through July 6, 2020. The Sentinel further contextualized this information with two documents that were already available to the public online: The Articles of Organization for Blueprint Enterprises, dated October 7, 2019, and the IRS’s release of Morgan from a $36,803.94 tax lien—in effect since April 2011—just two days later on October 9, 2019. “A spokesman for the Tax Collector’s Office said Monday they could find no contract with Morgan’s company,” reads the article. “Auditors hired by Seminole County after Greenberg was arrested last year wrote they could find ‘no evidence of work product,’ according to audit records.”
Morgan did not respond to the Sentinel’s requests for comment, which, according to Garcia, they started sending last Friday, April 9th. A few days earlier, though, in the early hours of Wednesday, April 7th at 2:01 a.m. ET—over a week after the Gaetz story first broke—something appears to have spooked the city commissioner. That’s when Morgan deleted a tweet from February 28, 2019 that talked about attending a fundraiser for then-Florida State Senate candidate Jason Brodeur, where he and his wife, Larissa Morgan, met Gaetz in person for what he said was the first time. The deletion was detected because Gaetz retweeted it; ProPublica’s Politwoops database of deleted tweets then counts that as a deletion on Gaetz’s part.
“Larissa and I had a great time tonight supporting our bud @jasonbrodeur for #republican Florida State Senate,” begins the deleted tweet, which includes three separate photos of Matt Morgan with, respectively, Brodeur, Larissa Morgan, and Gaetz. “Was great to finally meet @mattgaetz in person. Thank you again so very much for the encouragement and for paying attention to what some of us small town city leaders do[.]”
As of this writing, Morgan, who has participated in fundraising for dubious “anti-child trafficking charity” Operation Underground Railroad, has not been linked to any further Greenberg improprieties. However, Tuesday evening, several hours after the Sentinel story went up, the New York Times reported that Greenberg has been giving information to prosecutors on “an array of topics, including Mr. Gaetz’s activities” for several months. If that doesn’t tell you that this is an ongoing story, then nothing will.
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