A failed Florida gubernatorial candidate and current CNN contributor was subpoenaed – along with his campaign – by a federal grand jury, according to a Thursday report in The Tampa Bay Times.
“Issued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee, the subpoena demands ‘documents, electronically stored information, or objects’ dating back to January 2015 about [Andrew] Gillum, his 2018 gubernatorial campaign and his political committee, Forward Florida,” according to the report.
Gillum was the mayor of Tallahassee, and an FBI investigation into Tallahassee city hall resulted in three arrests. He paid $5000 to settle an ethics violation for accepting improper gifts from a lobbyist. Previously, Gillum bragged that out of 23 subpoenas issued in that case, none were related to him. Now, he is the direct object of scrutiny by a federal grand jury.
Gillum still denies any wrongdoing.
He told The Tampa Bay Times:
“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. We ran an open and honest campaign. 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.”
The subpoena also demands information from John H. Jackson, the president of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, a non-profit on whose board Gillum sat. It also demands information from Opportunity to Learn Action Fund, a non-profit formerly led by Gillum, and from Donald Sussman a wealthy investor who donated $1.5 million to Gillum’s campaign. Sharon Lettman-Hicks, a friend of Gillum’s and the head of the National Black Justice Commission, a non-profit, who worked with him at the Schott Foundation, was also listed in the subpoena.
“Gillum’s relationship with Lettman-Hicks was a point of controversy during last year’s governor race,” the report said. “Gillum reported income in 2017 of $71,000 from Lettman-Hicks’ firm on a state financial disclosure report. Meanwhile, his campaign rented space from her Tallahassee public relations firm, P&P Communications, at a cost of nearly $45,000.”
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