Andrew Gillum, DeSantis’s 2018 Rival, Is Charged With Conspiracy and Fraud

Andrew Gillum, DeSantis’s 2018 Rival, Is Charged With Conspiracy and Fraud

MIAMI — Andrew Gillum, the Democrat who misplaced Florida’s 2018 gubernatorial race to Ron DeSantis, turned himself in to federal authorities in Tallahassee Wednesday after he and an in depth affiliate had been indicted on 19 counts of conspiracy. fraud for the way they raised and used funds when he was mayor of Tallahassee and working for governor.

Mr. Gillum, 42, was additionally charged with making false statements to the FBI. He’s scheduled to look in court docket on Wednesday afternoon.

The arrest is the newest detour in Mr. Gillum’s once-rising profession. He got here inside 32,000 votes of the governorship, which might have made him Florida’s first black governor and a future contender for the White Home, solely to lose his political management and face private struggles. In 2020, police discovered him in a Miami Seaside lodge room the place one other man was affected by a attainable drug overdose.

The fees stem from a federal investigation into the Tallahassee Metropolis Corridor that started in 2015 and concerned undercover FBI brokers posing as builders. The investigation’s revelations, together with that Mr. Gillum had socialized with undercover brokers in New York, the place they took a ship experience to the Statue of Liberty and noticed the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” had been a subject within the 2018 marketing campaign. Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, mentioned on the time that Mr. Gillum couldn’t be trusted to run the state.

The 21-count indictment towards Mr. Gillum reveals {that a} grand jury indicted him on June 7. Additionally charged was Sharon Lettman-Hicks, 53, a confidante of Mr. Gillum since he was in school.

In a press release, Gillum mentioned he had performed all of his political campaigns “with integrity.”

“Make no mistake, this case will not be authorized, it’s political,” he mentioned. “There was a goal on my again since I used to be mayor of Tallahassee. In order that they discovered nothing, and I’ve full confidence that my authorized workforce will now show my innocence.”

The indictment covers occasions involving Mr. Gillum and Ms. Lettman-Hicks from 2016 to 2019. The false assertion cost towards Mr. Gillum is expounded to his interactions with undercover officers.

In accordance with the indictment, starting in 2016, Mr. Gillum and two unnamed associates solicited marketing campaign contributions from undercover brokers for Mr. Gillum’s newly shaped Ahead Florida Political Motion Committee. To maintain the names of the brokers personal, the associates promised to channel the contributions in different methods, together with by Ms. Lettman-Hicks’ firm, P&P Communications. In trade, they had been promised “unencumbered authorities contracts,” in keeping with one of many unnamed associates.

Mr. Gillum advised one of many undercover officers that he “ought to separate marketing campaign contributions and Tallahassee tasks in his thoughts,” the indictment says, including that Mr. Gillum additionally “indicated that he seen favorably” the tasks. of growth proposed by the spy.

The indictment says that when Mr. Gillum voluntarily spoke with FBI brokers in 2017, he “falsely acknowledged” that undercover brokers posing as builders by no means provided him something and that he had stopped speaking with them after they tried to hyperlink your contributions to assist potential Tallahassee tasks.

The fraud and conspiracy prices relate to Mr. Gillum’s dealings with Ms. Lettman-Hicks relating to P&P Communications and Mr. Gillum’s marketing campaign.

In 2017, when he turned a gubernatorial candidate, Gillum resigned from Folks for the American Means, a liberal advocacy group whose Tallahassee workplace was leased to Lettman-Hicks. Mr. Gillum misplaced his annual wage of $122,500 and Mrs. Lettman-Hicks misplaced $3,000 in month-to-month hire. Gillum was additionally paid round $70,500 a 12 months as mayor, a place he held from 2014 to 2018.

Mr. Gillum later turned employed by P&P Communications, the place he obtained a month-to-month wage of $10,000. In accordance with the indictment, hiring Mr. Gillum was “only a cowl used to offer him with funds that he misplaced” after he resigned from Folks for the American Means.

When Mr. Gillum and Mrs. Lettman-Hicks utilized for $50,000 in grants from two nameless organizations, the cash was meant for use for the Marketing campaign to Defend Native Options, an effort by Mr. Gillum to battle state efforts to get forward. energy of native governments. As a substitute, in keeping with the indictment, that cash in the end went to P&P Communications to pay Mr. Gillum.

In 2018, the indictment says, Mr. Gillum and Ms. Lettman-Hicks defrauded an nameless marketing campaign donor who had donated $250,000 earmarked for Mr. Gillum’s marketing campaign. As a substitute, $150,000 of that went to Mr. Gillum’s political motion committee and P&P Communications.

In accordance with the indictment, in November 2018, $130,000 from the marketing campaign was imagined to go towards “getting out the vote” efforts. As a substitute, $60,000 went to P&P Communications, which was utilized in half to pay Mr. Gillum $20,000 in bonuses from November 20-29, 2018.

It was ultimately falsely listed on Mr. Gillum’s marketing campaign finance report as a refund for “Get Out The Vote Canvassing.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.