advertisement

SSN on Facebook SSN on Twitter SSN on YouTube RSS Feed

63 Comments
Columns

The Ethical Lapses of Andrew Gillum

September 7, 2018 - 6:00am
Andrew Gillum
Andrew Gillum

Now that Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is the Democratic Party nominee for governor, the press and voters need to take a much closer look into his service as our ceremonial mayor.

Gillum has been consistently involved in issues that the FBI is investigating as part of their work into corruption at City Hall and the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

While Gillum alleges he was told by the FBI that he’s not a subject of their investigation, no one has ever corroborated that statement.

First and foremost is the ethical concerns around the New York City trip that Gillum took for his former employer.  We now know, after persistent questioning by the Tallahassee Democrat, that Gillum stayed on after that meeting, relocating to a plush NYC hotel, the Millennium Hilton, attending the “Hamilton” Broadway play where tickets cost hundreds of dollars, and even going on a boat ride around Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty with Adam Corey and Mike Miller, where pictures were taken.

Barney Bishop
Barney Bishop

Gillum has recently told The Washington Post that sometimes his brother Marcus Gillum pays some of his expenses, and he has said that his brother paid his expenses in NYC.  

But where did Marcus get the money?

The money came from Miller and the FBI.  It appears they paid Marcus, who then paid Andrew’s expenses.

And Andrew didn’t ask who’s paying for all of this?  If you’re an elected official and you’re not asking about the source of the money, then you're also guilty of stupidity.

Hint:  Andrew, even if the FBI gave the money to your mother to pay your expenses, it’s still a bribe.

So, while Andrew may not get indicted initially, we can certainly expect Marcus to be indicted and then eventually roll over on his brother, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee.  

However, that’s not Andrew’s only ethical indiscretion.  

He also vacationed in Costa Rica with Corey, a lobbyist who did business with the city, and with Sean Pittman, a lawyer/lobbyist who represents the city of Tallahassee as a lobbyist. 

Oh, how so cozy for two lobbyists who do business with the city also spending “down time” with Andrew and his wife in a $1,400-a-night villa. Except it wasn’t really down time, because Corey has admitted doing business with Andrew there and emailing meeting requests for Andrew's calendar.

Finally, after promising for months he would release the Costa Rica receipts, Andrew gave the press some receipts -- not all, because allegedly, that’s all he could get his hands on at the time. 

Ethical red flags.  Again.

Andrew claims to have paid Corey $400 in cash -- how convenient, because there’s no receipt -- yet Corey’s attorney has said publicly and on the record that Corey never received any money from Andrew for that trip.  As if $400 would be his and his wife’s appropriate share of the villa cost each night.

Who to believe?

Gillum also provided receipts for an airplane ticket to Costa Rica, but without any documentation on who paid for the ticket. Is Andrew that stupid to think that reporters aren’t going to press him on who paid?  They did press him, and his campaign spokesperson says that’s all he has.

How convenient.

What’s that old saying that the cover-up becomes a worse crime than the crime originally committed?

Let the stonewalling begin.  

But, wait, there’s more.

Andrew started his campaign by illegally using city tax dollars to pay part of the cost for a political software program that was then used to send his political emails to city taxpayers.

And it was done on city computers, by city employees, during work hours.  A clear violation of the law.

Andrew and his chief of staff Dustin Daniels (who is running for Tallahassee mayor, but that’s another story I’ll tell you about soon), had Andrew's campaign pay part of the cost of the software.

Yet, no one on senior city staff, not the city manager, not the city attorney, not even the city auditor, had any questions, concerns or problems with a private campaign paying some and the city paying some of the cost?

How convenient.

Andrew finally was embarrassed enough when this came out to pay back the citizens for the $5,000 in tax dollars used, but he failed to pay for the use of the computers and city staff.  And Dustin was never docked any pay, suspended, or even reprimanded.

How convenient.

Another ethical issue is that Andrew has hired at least 10 people to work for him in the office of mayor. Remember that this is a ceremonial job.

And he paid them over $500,000 in tax dollars, with benefits too, to do exactly what?

Then we discover that Andrew and his fellow city commissioners spent over $100,000 on meals and entertainment in just one year.  After that hit the fan, the commission promised to adopt a city policy, but none has ever been created.  Another waste of taxpayer dollars so Andrew and city commissioners could live high on the hog at taxpayers’ expense.

How convenient. 

Then there’s the ethical issue involving the Edison Restaurant.
Andrew and the commission put out a bid to refurbish the old power plant building and turn it into a restaurant.  On city land.  With Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) monies.

Guess who won the bid?  Corey, of course.  The contract required that the owners/investors of the restaurant put up $1.5 million to match the city’s investment.
The contract said that the kitchen equipment couldn’t be used as collateral for a loan because the city owned that equipment and it was to remain free and clear.

During an audit last year, it was revealed that the $1.5 million the owners/investors gave to the city was actually the kitchen equipment which was collateralized for a loan.  Nothing was ever done about this gross example of incompetence by city lawyers who worked on this deal.

The owners/investors also received CRA money.  Who was the Vice Chair of the CRA – Mr. Corey of course.

How convenient.

This is the guy some want to be our governor?

Barney Bishop III, a conservative, is a former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party and is the president & CEO of Barney Bishop Consulting, LLC, a strategic public affairs firm based in Tallahassee.  

Comments

Off topic...but really NOT!!! OK BLK PEPO heres some shizz you need to know about leftist liberal Democrat voting WHT PEPO: They will throw a legendary expert like Serena Williams straight under the bus when a newer younger BLK PEPO comes along...crazy??? Heck yeah it's crazy!!! That wig wearing brushy Gandolf Wizard eye-brow WHT PEPO Judge totally cheated Serena out of the win for his twisted WHT PEPO leftist liberal Democrat voting crazy @ss adgenda...Deuces on him and the Democratic BLK PEPO hater party...Vote with Trump and his people who know what fair is and what it means to be a proud American...Serena was right that example of leftist WHT PEPO took her down and cheated Serena out of her title!!! #MAGA #flushthebluewave #effoffleftistwhtpepo

White people has cheated every nationality on the earth. You will never enter the KINGDOM...

This is just the beginning of the truth being told by honest Americans about Gillum all you lefty liberal "I hate the USA and want to elect a fool who will destroy it" idiots....soooo get your nonsensical rambling leftist "talking points" in order for your pathetic reply's...you are gonna need them!!!

I am a Centrist Democrat. I get very frustrated at GOP intolerant people who painted Obama and Hillary as extremists when all they were trying to do was bring people together. Gillum is backed by Bernie. Bernie is the real extremist on the left. I am tired of whites getting mad at the black guy out of his place. It's wrong, but we don't fix it by shoving another black guy in the face of voters who are a part of the Deep South.

I DON'T CARE! I'm still voting for him. ANYTHING is better than another Trumpanzee government official. I'm willing to try Social Democracy. I'm not afraid of change.

If you're so eager to try Democratic Socialism, why don't you speed it up and try Venezuela for S year or two? This survivor of communism doesn't want to live under the boot again. Don't let your hatred of the president cloud your judgement. I truly believe that De Santos will be a great governor, and Gillum will run employers off, and tax and spend us into California-style oblivion.

You are not afraid of change, because you are totally clueless about what Social Democracy is! Ask people in Sweden and Norway and they'll tell you they pay 70% tax on their income. I know because I have friends living there. May be you want that, but majority of American people want more money in their pockets, not less. That's why people will re-elect Trump. In spite of his crazy rhetoric and silly twitter posts, the economy growth is the highest in ages, the stock market brings middle class the best returns ever and minorities have an unemployment rate the lowest in the history of US. And guess what, there are no wars started under Trump's presidency unlike Bush's (4 wars) and Obama's (7 wars). If you don't like that, it's time for you to move to Scandinavia!

You have friends living there? Okay Donald Tramp wanna be........lol

Social democracy is not on the ballot, that’s the European offshoot from free enterprise, what we are talking here is rancid socialism exploiting the ignorant and carried out by an obviously corrupt politician.

I know! I don't know how much more of this record unemployment, soaring stock market and robust economic growth I can take!

Bob Bob Bob we are all sorry you are butthurt enraged still over Hillary's loss. But committing National/State/Local suicide by putting an idiot like Gillum in charge of anything is not the answer to your recovery.

Live close enough to Tallahassee to know the mess he and his brother has gotten Tallahassee in. As a teacher have always voted Democratic in Florida. I will not vote for a self proclaimed Socialist. I will NOT vote for an income tax in Florida; we have tourism for that. So, I can not think of one reason to vote for this man. Besides the fact that he is a man of color, can anyone give me a reason to vote for him?

You ask "Besides the fact that he is a man of color, can anyone give me a reason to vote for him?" Being a person of color is no reason to vote for someone. Being a woman is bad reason to vote for someone. Voting for someone based on what they say is also bad. Vote only based on what you think they will do if elected.

So he can rail about non-existant Confederate flag and help city employees continue to buy a FSU skybox for $99.99?

Just another "If I want it, I just take it" thinker. Gillum IS a swamp creature.

Thank you Barney for writing this article and shining the light of truth on our Mayor. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what is going to come out. It too bad the Dems did not elected one of the well qualified candidates that ran in the primary so we could have civil debate on the future of our State. Instead, we got someone who is backed by out of state billionaires and played the race card within 24 hours after winning the primary. If anyone believes that those robos call were nothing more than a stunt for the Dems to fund raise using race, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.

"Played the race card" by calmly denouncing the racist dog whistle used by DeSantis, who has a record of sharing racist jokes, cozying up to White Nationalists, and who was sponsored in racist robocalls talking about "living in huts" with jungle noises? You are delusional, the ultimate Fox News victim.

Anon, first if you want to say something, use your full name. Second, get some education so you will know the difference between a noun and a verb.

If you want to insult someone, why not attack their argument instead of their grammar? Is your argument not so strong that you resort to attacking what other weaknesses you can?

This author is notorious for twisting things and playing MSM tricks. Basically this is "fake news" with no real proof. Just allegations. Same thing Republicans pretend to hate. But you expect them to believe this crap? Sadly, the stupid ones will. Just google the article: "Barney Bishop, Sunshine State News Retract and Apologize to John Morgan"

Thanks for the reminder on the apology...yep, I was happy to apologize for a mistaken comment, but at least I owned up to it...BTW, got more hits on the apology and the story itself as a result of the demand for n apology

He still seems to be an improvement from Governor Scott. And how about all that Blue/Green Algae feeding the Red Tide and contaminating the beaches ? How about all the dead sea life washing up on shore ? Say good bye to tourism for a while. And all under Governor Scotts sweet, sugar sweet, reign.

The algae does not feed the Red Tide you dumb#$$ but your treated sewer water and run off does feed the algae. Share the blame and realize what your footprint is on the environment.

He still seems to be an improvement from Governor Scott. And how about all that Blue/Green Algae feeding the Red Tide and contaminating the beaches ? How about all the dead sea life washing up on shore ? Say good bye to tourism for a while. And all under Governor Scotts sweet, sugar sweet, reign.

All of Gillum's graft is troubling but you never mention the disgraceful 52% increase in crime in Tallahassee under his administration. No wonder he's against Stand your Ground. That's his constituency he's trying to protect.

That's my next op-ed!

You left out the scandal in which Andrew used city workers to repair a water pipe at his home "free" of charge (at the tax payers' expense. When my water pipe broke, I had to pay over $600 to have it repaired. It must be good to be mayor.

Mr. Bishop, shouldn't you be peddling more bs for the oil industry? You make Gillum sound and look like a Republican. The main difference is that Gillum turned over all the receipts and other information voluntarily while Scott had to be sued for it. One thing is certain, if Gillum and King win, there won't be any concessions for offshore drilling. They (API) pay you to write that crap don't they?

All the receipts? Are you serious ? READ THE ARTICLE. He has done no such thing.

I am serious. The receipts refer to his trip to Costa Rica, looks like a lobbyist went there too. He handed over "all the receipts he could get his hands on." What else do you think happened down there? Who does that lobbyist work for, and what if any benefit did his client receive? If somebody received a big paving contract or work from the city steered to them by Gillum, crucify him. But you guys have no problem with Big Oil throwing fundraisers for Scott over in Texas. Is it because they just like him, or could it have something to do with their plans to expand offshore drilling.

Pages

Add new comment

columns
advertisement

Opinion Poll

Who did the better job choosing a lieutenant governor?
Older pollsResults
advertisement

Chatterbox

Live streaming of WBOB Talk Radio, a Sunshine State News Radio Partner.

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement