Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum should be impeached for “corruption in action,” his Republican opponent in Florida’s gubernatorial contest, Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisGOP tentatively decides on Jacksonville for site of convention DeSantis pushing to host Republican National Convention in Florida Florida bars and theaters to reopen starting Friday, DeSantis says MORE, said Thursday on “Fox and Friends.”
The former GOP congressman said it was ironic that Gillum was pushing to impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE given allegations he accepted a ticket to the Broadway musical “Hamilton” in 2016 from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen looking to develop property in Tallahassee.
“Maybe he should be impeached because he got caught now, definitively, taking illegal gifts from an undercover FBI agent,” DeSantis explained.
“Over a thousand dollars in New York City, $4,300 dollars for a fundraising dinner… and then you had the lobbyist which arranged both of those… Andrew turned around and gave that same lobbyist a $2 million dollar contract with the city of Tallahassee.”
“That is corruption in action at the municipal level, and it is wrong.”
Gillum defended himself later on Thursday morning during an appearance on CNN.
“I have never in anyway compromised my values, my morals, or the law. I’ve been an elected official for 15 years and I’ve been elected repeatedly by doing right, not by doing wrong,” he said.
The two are locked in a tight race for governor. The most recent polling on the race shows Gillum and DeSantis in a virtual tie with just five days to go before the election.
Gillum has been swept up in an investigation of corruption related to Tallahassee’s redevelopment agency, and DeSantis has made it a focal point of his campaign attacks.
The New York Times has reported that an undercover agent coordinated with Adam Corey, a lobbyist and longtime friend of Gillum’s, to book hotel rooms for Gillum while he was in New York. Gillum cut ties with Corey last year.
Gillum’s campaign claims they did not know where the money for either the rooms or Hamilton tickets came from.
Texts between Gillum and Corey released during the investigation reveal that the mayor was made aware that the agent was at least providing the Hamilton tickets.
The $4,300 figure that DeSantis referenced is based on records released during the investigation into Corey which show Gillum may have accepted that sum from one of the FBI agents posing as a businessman to cover food and drinks at one of his fundraisers in 2016, according to the Miami Herald.
The donation reportedly does not appear in Gillum’s campaign records, and it is unclear if Gillum knew who the money was coming from.
The $2 million contract DeSantis referenced appeared to be related to Gillum’s 2015 votes as a member of the Tallahassee city commission to approve a restoration project led by Corey. Tampa Bay Times reports that Gillum had disclosed his potential conflict of interest on the vote with the city attorney.
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