The president of the governing board of a Maricopa County, Arizona public school district and his father revealed a Google Drive containing a cache of information collected on local parents and political opponents after making a basic information security blunder, according to media reports.
The trove came to light when Jann-Michael Greenburg, President of the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) Governing Board, sent an email to a local mother, Kim Stafford, accusing her of making anti-Semetic comments in reference to George Soros, according to a Nov. 10 report by Daily Caller.
The article includes a screenshot that allegedly was taken by Greenburg of a file named “KIM STAFFORD CREWS ON ANTI ISLAMIC ANTISEMITISM.mov” containing a still of a chatroom titled “SUSD – CAN (Community Advocacy Network)” where online monikers complained about the alleged anti-semetic comments.
The security blunder occurred because the sender took, and sent, a screenshot not of just the chatroom segment in question, but their entire OS X desktop, revealing the URL to the Google Drive the file was hosted in.
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The Drive’s security settings were set to provide open access to anyone with the link.
According to Nov. 9 reporting by the Daily Independent, the drive, which they referred to as a “dossier,” contains “content, including photos of district parents and at least one minor, personal financial documents, including professional certifications, and mortgage statements.”
The outlet says the original Google Drive, which was quickly made private when the issue drew media attention, was owned by Jann-Michael’s father, Mark Greenburg, and associated to Jann-Michael Greenburg, “A person [sic] email address belonging to SUSD governing board member Zachary Lindsay,” and “A Scottsdale woman whom the Independent has not yet verified.”
Arizona Free Press (AZFP) further summarized the contents of the newly unearthed dossier, “Nearly 50 parents and political opponents were targeted in the dossier, which reads like opposition research (‘oppo research’ for short) – a practice of gathering intelligence on political opponents. Folders were either given the names of their subjects, themes of where they fell in his mind (such as ‘crazy” or ‘faith-based’), or musings of what kinds of action the creator could take with their contents: for example, ‘false and defamatory’ follows after the names of some parents.”
The publication continued, “Beyond collections of political Facebook posts, Mark collected records of nursing licenses, divorces, mortgages, family trees, bankruptcies, civil and criminal charges, and a slew of other personal information. It appears that Mark went so far as to file a complaint against one nurse for opposing masks, according to a screenshot. He also included pictures and videos of the children of his perceived political opposition.”
“Mark made sure to note in one file name that the wife of one of his political opponents had an elementary school student. The associated picture was from a social media post highlighting the child’s disability.”
One video in the cache is described by Daily Independent in the following way:
“Appear[ing] to show Mark Greenburg on Aug. 24 taking photographs of parents and children all while keeping his face hidden under a helmet and motorcycle gear.”
“The incident occurred at Coronado High School, 7501 E. Virginia Ave., in the hours prior to a regular scheduled school board meeting. The parents were involved in a protest regarding the district’s policies at the time after a previous meeting had been cut short following parent disruptions.”
“They don’t know it’s me … I covered up my license plate,” Mark Greenburg says in the video, in which he’s wearing a body camera on his motorcycle jacket.
Mark Greenburg also says, in the same video: “Somewhere around here we have a private investigator who’s writing down all of their plates,” before confirming on video that he hired the private investigator.
“I had a law firm do it so that it’s protected so that we can get the information,” Greenburg said.
Daily Independent made a backup of the drive, which is publicly available with some content redacted.
Jann-Michael Greenburg spoke on the matter with the Daily Independent via phone conference, with his father in attendance. Jann-Michael bluntly stated, “I categorically deny having anything to do with any of this,” and warned the publication, “If you are going to claim in a story right now, that I had anything to do with this, I would argue that crosses the line.”
The Board President said further he and his father would “have forensic IT staff” investigate “and figure out what that is,” while encouraging the outlet to report the matter to law enforcement.
Jann-Michael claimed, “I am not sure even why we are looking at these photos.”
He nonetheless admitted, “I have been sent screenshots on what is done on CAN. I have been sent videos, and, yes, from parents, including my own father. Yes, people send me emails and text messages…”
The admission came with the caveat, “But I don’t store them and I don’t know who stores them if that is what you are asking”
Zachary Lindsay was paraphrased as denying “having any involvement or knowledge of the Google Drive,” but confirmed “the email address found within the network is a personal address of his.”
Lindsay attempted to downplay the connection by stating the burner account used to access the Google Drive cache “currently has 160,000 unread emails.”
SUSD is nested in the same Maricopa County that was a hotbed of irregular activity during the Nov. 3, 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
AZFP pointed out that Jann-Michael has a bad habit of lax security practices and sharing school board business with his personal family members in Nov. 10 reporting on the dossier, “In an August school board meeting, Jann-Michael admitted that his brother, also named Mark, was the one who set up his Microsoft Word account.”
“He didn’t explain further why his brother’s profile and name continued to be on his computer.”
The second instance of lax security was when in 2018, when Jann-Michael was first running for election to the SUSD Governing Board, dad created a troll Twitter account and parody website of then-Board President Barbara Perleberg, according to AZ Central.
The website mocking Perleberg is still live, but the Twitter account is not. The actions resulted in Perleberg filing a defamation lawsuit.
AZFP also noted that local conservative radio show host James T. Harris was also documented in the cache, “Harris’s picture with children outside a school board meeting was included, as well as a video he’d posted.”
In May of 2020, AZFP reported that the SUSD Board shuttered a meeting after Jann-Michael described parents as a “belligerent mob” as they challenged Critical Race Theory and district mask mandates.
After the event, Harris interviewed one attendee, Amy Carney, who was paraphrased as stating that “while she had never attended a school board meeting before, the pandemic opened up many parents’ eyes to what is happening in schools and what is not happening in schools.”
Carney has since become an outspoken opponent and major political threat to the Greenburgs, running for a seat on the SUSD Governing Board in its upcoming 2022 election.
Harris commented during an episode of his show following the revelation of his inclusion in the dossier, “Today on my radio show I found out how deep this thing goes…Why do these school board members feel the necessity to get information on tax-paying citizens. All we want to do is make sure that our kids are being taught…that our kids aren’t being indoctrinated.”
In August of this year, AZFP reported again on Jann-Michael, who they described as “After another long week of defending his decision to impose mask mandates for Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) students,” being caught on film, maskless at a local bar.
Arizona previously had a state-issued ban on school-imposed mandatory masking, which was not nullified by the state’s Supreme Court until Nov. 2, according to Tuscon.com.
The President called media inquiries on his health measure dissonance a “baseless attack.”
AZFP’s article also noted Jann-Michael was caught on hot mic only a few days earlier swearing at parents during a board meeting where they challenged his administration on their policies.
“Jesus [expletive] Christ, people,” Jann-Michael uttered.
In a second Nov. 10 article, AZFP paraphrased SUSD as attempting to distance itself from Board President Greenburg’s father, Mark, “An email sent out Wednesday evening by the SUSD’s Communications Office sought to assure families that their personal and educational data is safe. However, the district also solely blamed the discovered digital dossier site on Mark Greenburg, the father of Jann-Michael Greenburg.”