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Once-rising Democrat star, Florida governor candidate Gillum on trial for federal corruption charges

Gillum and his former campaign advisor have pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them

Published: April 18, 2023 1:49pm

The trial for former Democrat-rising star Andrew Gillum – who lost the 2018 Florida governor race by less than 1% of the vote – is now on trial on federal corruption charges, with opening statements starting Tuesday.

Gillum and co-defendant Sharon Lettman-Hicks, a former campaign adviser, also face charges for allegedly lying to the FBI, in the trial taking place in a federal courthouse in Tallahassee.

Gillum was the former mayor of Tallahassee before running for Florida governor. He lost to GOP nominee Ron DeSantis by fewer than 34,000 votes, or 0.4% of the vote.

Gillum is charged with accepting into his personal account nearly $57,000 in political contributions illegally funneled through the Lettman-Hicks company.

Prosecutors also allege Gillum lied about his interactions with undercover FBI agents who posed as developers and paid for a trip he and his brother took to New York in 2016 that included a ticket to the Broadway show “Hamilton.” 

Gillum and Lettman-Hicks have pleaded not guilty.

In the aftermath of the 2018 loss, Gillum was found in 2020 in a Miami Beach hotel room with a man who had apparently overdosed on drugs. Police reported that Gillum was too inebriated to explain what had happened. 

Gillum said he fell into a depression after the defeat. He was not charged with any crimes in the incident.

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