Former Tallahassee mayor, Andrew Gillum is under a cloud of suspicion and the FBI is looking for answers. Gillum is part of a federal subpoena that is examining the records related to his 2018 campaign for governor, his ties with a Massachusetts based nonprofit and public relations firm owned by one his closest advisors.
A federal grand jury issued the subpoena in Tallahassee on March 26. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the subpoena is requesting records specifically from January 2015, during Gillum’s first year as mayor to records from his most recent campaign and his political action committee called Forward Florida.
It is also demanding information from Sharon Lettman-Hicks, who is one of Gillum’s long-time political advisers and her public relations firm P&P Communications. The allegation is that Gillum was once on the firm’s payroll before his “statewide run.”
Massachusetts nonprofit, Schott Foundation for Public Education, and the Opportunity to Learn Action Fund were also named, along with philanthropist and Gillum donor, Donald Sussman. Another Gillum adviser, Harris Parnell, who worked with Sussman, is also listed.
It is not certain if the investigation is tied to the public Tallahassee corruption probe that is responsible for Gillum’s former colleague and city commissioner Scott Maddox, to be indicted along with Paige Carter-Smith, former Downtown Improvement Authority Executive Director, and developer, John “J.T.” Burnette.
A spokesman for Gillum released a statement on behalf of the former mayor that stated:
“We ran an open and honest campaign,” Gillum said. “A campaign powered by thousands of volunteers and supporters. A campaign that captured imaginations and earned over four million votes. When you run a campaign that puts the power in the hands of the people and fights for change, it inevitably invites close scrutiny, regardless of the facts. We stand ready to assist any future review of our work, because I am confident we always did the right thing and complied fully with the law.”
Politics can be a complicated bedfellow. Last month, Gillum paid a $5,000 fine settling state ethics charges over his out-of-town trips with family, lobbyist friends and others who were tied to the Maddox probe.