Monday 20 September 2021

Tallahassee, Florida, Mayor says he’ll release receipts Costa Rica trip after ethics meeting

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Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, serving as Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida since 2014, gave three national television interviews Sunday morning, fielding questions about the status of the FBI corruption probe into his city government.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee and mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, Andrew Gillum

And on all three programs — CNN’s “State of the Union,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” Gillum gave what is becoming a familiar answer to the question: He, as the mayor of Tallahassee, welcomed the investigation, and he’s not its target.

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But on Meet the Press, Gillum also offered some new information, saying he planned in coming days to release receipts related to two trips he took in 2016 that have come under scrutiny in the press coverage of the probe.

In May of 2016, Gillum reportedly vacationed with friends and lobbyists Sean Pittman and Adam Corey in Costa Rica. It was on that trip that Corey scheduled a meeting between Gillum and an undercover FBI agent posing as a developer via an online calendar invite, the Tallahassee Democrat has reported.

Although Gillum had long been friends with the lobbyists, the trip raised the eyebrows of some ethics experts. Gillum, his friends and their significant others reportedly split a US$1,400-per-night villa on the trip. Gillum says he paid for his portion of the trip, but he has not publicly released any receipts.

Sunday on NBC, the mayor said he would provide evidence that he paid his way on the New York and Costa Rica trips as soon as a Tallahassee ethics board wrapped up its investigation this week.

“My commitment is to make every receipt available because I’ve got nothing to hide,” Gillum told Todd Sunday morning. “I just wanted to make sure the process worked the way it was intended to.”

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Reports by QCR staff

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