Costa Rica News – Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum has released receipts related to two trips that are under investigation by the Florida Commission on Ethics.
The trips include an August 2016 trip to New York City, where Gillum met with an alleged undercover FBI agent, Mike Miller. WCTV first reported on that trip in August of 2017. The second is a trip to Costa Rica in May of 2016.
Local businessman Erwin Jackson filed the complaint with the commission in October of 2017 and amended it in July.
The release comes as Gillum’s campaign is urging President Trump and opponent Ron DeSantis to, “stop undermining the FBI’s probe into Russian electoral collusion and interference.”
“The FBI has a job to do — and whether it’s Washington D.C. or Florida, Congressman DeSantis and President Trump should allow the agency to do its work,” said Gillum. “Here in Florida, we’ve done everything we can to aide the agency, while Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump have done the exact opposite — demonizing the FBI and making the case that collusion is not a crime. It has to end,” said Gillum in a released statement.
According to Gillum, the trip to New York was a personal trip that was for his former employer, People for the American Way Foundation. That trip was from August 9 through the 11. Per the receipt, Gillum paid $438 for a two night stay at the Ameritania Hotel.
However, he said he stayed an additional night with his brother, Marcus Gillum, at the Millennium Hotel. He also attended the show “Hamilton” with Marcus, who received the tickets in a swap for a concert ticket with former city lobbyist Adam Corey. Gillum also went on a boat trip with Corey, as well as an alleged FBI agent, Miller. Miller is believed to have embedded himself in Tallahassee as part of an ongoing FBI investigation into political corruption.
In an August 2017 interview, Gillum told Eyewitness News the trip on the boat was simply an “outing with friends.” And, that he did not suspect anything unusual about Miller. He has maintained that he is not the target of the ongoing FBI investigation.
“In the context of this FBI investigation, the reason I have comfort in being able to talk as much as I have about it, is because I have been told and I have no reason to believe based off my actions, that I am anyway involved as a target within this investigation,” he said. “If I thought for a minute, a minute, that I had done something inappropriate and God forbid illegal, I’d be the first one to acknowledge that, but that just hasn’t been my experience.”
As for the Costa Rica trip, Gillum said he traveled with his wife, R. Jai, to Costa Rica from May 4 through the 8. They stayed with “a group of approximately a dozen people who stayed at Villa Paraiso.” The groups combined rate for lodging was $1,400 per night.
Gillum claimed he paid cash for their portion of lodging.
According to the receipts he released, Gillum withdrew $400 in cash from Centennial Bank in May 2016.
The following purchases were made on a Delta credit card: $84.72 at Camilian Internent Café Pura Vi, $174.43 at Canopy Safari, $55.35 at Mercato Dal Porto, and $111.84 at El Lagarto BBQ Restaurante Sun.
$429.45 was also paid on the Delta card for a round trip ticket from Jacksonville, to Atlanta to Costa Rica.
An additional $74.86 was charged to a Capital One card at Lush Tapas and Loungepuntarenaspun.
According to Gillum’s campaign, the Mayor met with the Florida Commission on Ethics Tuesday morning with his personal attorney, Barry Richard. He is referring all questions regarding that proceeding to the commission. However, the commission has not made this investigation public yet.
In response to Gillum making his receipts public, the Ron DeSantis campaign released the following statement:
““It becomes clearer by the day why the FBI is interested in Andrew Gillum and his associates. These receipts do nothing to shed light on his luxury trips to Costa Rica and New York City with lobbyists and undercover FBI agents. In fact, they simply raise more questions about Gillum’s ongoing involvement. The people of Florida deserve answers, and Andrew Gillum keeps refusing to provide them.”
By: Mariel Carbone, From WCTV.tv