LAKE MARY, Fla. – Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg asked officers to extend him a professional courtesy and not issue him a citation during a recent traffic stop, according to videos released from the Lake Mary Police Department.
The body camera video from Tuesday morning shows officers approach Greenberg, who is in the driver's seat of a dark-colored SUV smoking a cigarette. The officer walks away then returns about 10 minutes later to let Greenberg know he would be receiving a speeding ticket.
"You're giving a constitutional officer a ticket?" Greenberg asks.
When the officer reiterates that Greenberg would be receiving a citation, Greenberg asks for the officer to call the police chief.
"This is unprofessional, you know this is unprofessional," Greenberg tells the officer.
The video ends and then resumes with Greenberg outside of his vehicle, still insisting that the Lake Mary police officer is being unprofessional by issuing him a ticket.
"I understand the scope of how it looks that a constitutional officer is one of the few people speeding down Sun Drive," the officer replies.
Greenberg doesn't argue that he was driving 39 mph in a 25 mph zone, but he says that he wishes he would have receiving a warning instead of a ticket.
"I'm not trying to be a d--k, OK? I'm just, I am baffled that a little bit of professional courtesy wasn't extended. I understand that we both have jobs to do, and I respect that but if there's any way on earth -- I'm just trying to stay off the front page of the damn newspaper, alright? 'Tax collector gets a ticket.' That's the type of political crap I have to deal with," Greenberg says.
Greenberg asks if the Lake Mary police chief could downgrade the citation to a warning, to which the officer replies that only a citation hearing officer could change the ticket. The officer repeatedly tells Greenberg that it's up to the traffic officer's discretion.
"I've never once asked for a warning and nor will I ever because that's unprofessional," the officer says.
About 10 minutes into the encounter, Greenberg apologizes and leaves with the citation. Greenberg's office released a statement about the traffic stop Tuesday evening.
"I was late for a meeting and was speeding. I asked for a warning, and they refused. I fully understand their position and appreciate law enforcement for doing their job," the statement read.