The Florida Commission on Ethics found probable cause today that former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for governor in 2018, violated state ethics laws when he allegedly accepted gifts during on out-of-town excursions with lobbyists and vendors and didn’t report them.
The Ethics Commission’s vote happened behind closed doors. But the probable cause finding was confirmed by Gillum’s attorney, Barry Richard of Tallahassee, and Erwin Jackson, a local businessman who filed a state ethics complaint against Gillum in 2017.
Allegations of ethical improprieties over trips Gillum took while he was mayor to Costa Rica and New York City dogged him in the closing days of the general election. Depending on how the case shakes out, the allegations could further tarnish Gillum, whose political aspirations didn’t end with his defeat in the governor’s race to former GOP Congressman Ron DeSantis.
Gillum has the option of entering into a settlement with the Ethics Commission, which typically involves an admission of guilt, or contesting the allegations in a court-like administrative hearing.