TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Questions continue to bounce around 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum as news broke Thursday that a federal grand jury wants information about his campaign and other issues including a charity and a wealthy donor.
The former Tallahassee mayor, who throughout last year’s gubernatorial campaign denied being a target of an FBI investigation into corruption in city government, is the “focal point of a recently issued” subpoena, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The news came as Gillum seeks to use his political committee, Forward Florida, to attract more Democratic voters for the 2020 elections.
The full scope of the federal probe is not known, and being named in a subpoena does not mean a person is under investigation. But prosecutors could be seeking to gather information to present to a grand jury.
The Tampa Bay Times story said prosecutors also want information about Donald Sussman, a hedge-fund manager who donated $1.5 million to Gillum’s bid for governor. Also, they want information related to a Massachusetts-based nonprofit called the Schott Foundation for Public Education, which showed Gillum as a board member on its latest tax records. Prosecutors are also looking for information about John H. Jackson, the CEO and president of that nonprofit.
The subpoena reportedly requested information from Gillum stretching back to January 2015, and it ordered documents to be submitted to the FBI by May 7.
In late April, 11 days before the subpoenaed information was due, Gillum agreed to pay a $5,000 fine in a settlement reached with an attorney for the Florida Commission on Ethics. Under the settlement, the commission would drop four of five charges of ethics violations related to trips Gillum took to Costa Rica and New York with a lobbyist and undercover FBI agents posing as developers.
In January, the commission unanimously found probable cause that Gillum, as Tallahassee mayor, violated state ethics laws for allegedly accepting gifts from Tallahassee entrepreneur Adam Corey.
Next week, the commission is scheduled to take up Gillum’s case again. The settlement reached in late April remains subject to approval by the commission.
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