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Florida Gubernatorial nominee responds to questions of corruption

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum's friend target of FBI sting

Offical campaign photo of Andrew Gillum
Offical campaign photo of Andrew Gillum

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Tallahassee issue is now making national headlines after Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum won the Democratic primary for governor of Florida.

Outlets from the New York Times to CNN are reporting on allegations of corruption in Tallahassee city government. Gillum does not appear to be a target in the investigation but he is addressing it because it’s becoming a campaign issue.

Gillum shocked the political world Tuesday night when he scored an upset in the Democratic primary. Since then, the political world has been focusing on him and how he has run the city of Tallahassee, specifically allegations of corruption at City Hall that came to light last summer.

At issue is an FBI sting on a lobbyist friend of Gillum, who also volunteered on his campaign for mayor. Gillum said the FBI told him he's not the target of their probe and addressed the issue with CNN.

"Nobody wants more for any activity that is illegal or corrupt that has occurred (to stop).  We want to make sure that any individual that participated in that is held fully accountable.  The good news is that it doesn’t involve anyone in my government or myself," Gillum said.  

His opponent, Ron DeSantis, has been bringing the issue up in interviews with national news networks, but when pressed on CNN, Gillum said that unlike the Trump administration, his administration in Tallahassee cooperates with the FBI.

"The difference between how we’ve addressed this and how Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump have addressed the FBI is that we welcome them and have tried to aid in their work.  Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have tried to undercut and undermine the FBI at every single turn," said Gillum.

News4Jax political analyst Rick Mullaney said if any charges are filed in this case before the election, Gillum should remind voters it proves he was not a target in this investigation.

News4Jax spoke with Gillum's campaign which laid out the following bullet points saying Gillum has handled the issue correctly.

•  "Mayor Gillum has an honorable and ethical public service record, and he is not a subject of the FBI investigation or any other investigation. Mayor Gillum is committed to rooting out any corruption or wrongdoing in Tallahassee." 

• "The Gillum campaign is not going to take ethics lectures from Congressman Ron DeSantis, who is marching in lockstep with the most morally, ethically and legally challenged President in American history." 

• " The FBI is pursuing an investigation of another elected official — while no subpoenas have been issued for Gillum or any of his aides. During the investigation, Mayor Gillum pushed for unprecedented transparency in posting the records online for the public to review. He has worked to restore accountability and trust for Tallahasseans." 

•"In fact, one of the attorneys involved with the case said: “I took a client before the grand jury and they didn’t ask one question about the mayor,” Andrews said he told a Washington Post reporter. "The mayor’s name never came up."

 


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