TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Ethics Commission found probable cause Friday that defeated Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum violated state ethics laws.
Tallahassee businessman Erwin Jackson filed complaints against Gillum, who was the mayor of Tallahassee from 2014 until November 2018. The commission found probable cause on five of the six counts, reported The Tampa Bay Times.
In the complaints, Jackson alleged that Gillum, in his capacity as mayor, accepted gifts from lobbyists on multiple occasions. The first occasion was a trip to Costa Rica and the second was a trip to New York, according to WCTV. Both involved Gillum’s longtime friend and former campaign manager, Adam Corey, who is the focus of an extensive FBI investigation.
Records were released in October showing that an undercover FBI agent gave him tickets to a Broadway show, undermining his claims that he received the gift from his brother.
Barry Richard, Gillum’s attorney, revealed that the state’s ethics commission found probable cause that Gillum accepted gifts above the $100 threshold.
He added that probable cause has not been determined for the solicitation of gifts. But the he doesn’t make it clear if it determined that there was no probable cause or if it’s still investigating that allegation.
“We’re going to have a full evidentiary hearing before an independent judge. It’ll be open to the public, and everybody can decide for themselves,” Richard said. “There for sure will be no settlement.”
Court records of the closed-door hearing have not yet been made public.
Prior to his ultimate defeat in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial race, Gillum faced backlash on a variety of fronts, including his anti-police stances and ties to anti-Israel and anti-Zionist organizations. Gillum’s campaign was fraught with scandals from the onset.