Gillum

Politico Florida is reporting the state of Florida is denying access to Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s unredacted driving records – normally a public document – because those records are tied to an “active criminal investigation.” Whether that active investigation is the well publicized on-going FBI probe or some other investigation is unknown. Gillum has long denied he is the target of the FBI’s investigation into public corruption within the City of Tallahassee. He says FBI agents told him he was in the clear. The claim has not been verified by federal investigators.

According to the Politico report, law enforcement has accessed Gillum’s driving records from the state’s Driver and Vehicle Information Database a total of 106 times. Redacted copies of Gillum’s driving record were provided to Politico.

Gillum’s biggest political liability has always been the FBI’s investigation into potential pay-for-play deals within the city that he leads. Two undercover FBI agents were with Gillum and lobbyist Adam Corey during an August 2016 trip to New York City that included a sightseeing boat tour and the Broadway show Hamilton. Gillum has yet to fully explain who paid for the boat trip and his ticket to one of the most expensive shows on Broadway. In early September Mayor Gillum claimed the Hamilton ticket was provided by his brother in a ticket swap with Corey. However, Corey’s attorney told the Associated Press that claim was untrue.

Gillum is the subject of a separate investigation by the state Ethics Commission for a May 2016 trip he and his wife took to Costa Rica with Corey and another Tallahassee lobbyist. The group stayed in a $1400 a night resort for four nights. Gillum claims he reimbursed Corey by paying him $400 in cash. Again, Corey’s attorney denies his client was paid.

Gillum’s Republican gubernatorial opponent Ron DeSantis has not commented on the latest developments but DeSantis addressed Gillum’s 2016 trips during a campaign stop Tuesday in Panama City.

“He (Gillum) takes these junkets with undercover FBI agents to New York and then to Costa Rica. He’s asked about this and he says he paid $400 cash and showed an ATM receipt. Four nights in a luxury villa for $400 – give me a break. I can’t even get the Hampton Inn for four nights for that,” said DeSantis. “Adam Corey says he never paid anyone, so he’s not even telling the truth about that. The story of that is yet to be told fully but to me that reeks of cronyism. That whole thing stinks to high heaven.”

With less than six weeks to go before Election Day, any taint of a potential criminal investigation is the last thing the Gillum campaign wants. They’ve pushed back on every news story suggesting Gillum is the subject of the probe. But this latest discovery could provide the opening DeSantis has been looking to claim momentum in this race.

David Bishop is a native Floridian, husband and father. During his 30 year career, David has been a journalist, political operative and communications consultant.