Mayor Gillum faces ethics complaint over NYC trip

Tallahassee Andrew Mayor Gillum in New York City with developer Adam Corey and Mike Miller,...
Published: Oct. 11, 2017 at 12:41 PM EDT
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By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News

October 11, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A local businessman has filed an ethics complaint against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, accusing him of violating the Florida Code of Ethics by accepting "gifts."

Erwin Jackson filed the complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics Tuesday. The complaint surrounds a trip to New York City that WCTV

after a photo surfaced of Gillum with close friend and lobbyist Adam Corey and alleged undercover FBI agent Mike Miller. Sources say Miller was part of an ongoing investigation into development deals in Tallahassee.

The photo shows the three men on a boat in New York City touring the Statue of Liberty.

In August, Gillum told WCTV the photo and trip were simply "friends hanging out."

“It looks like people hanging out. I really am deeply offended by folks ascribing other meaning to it,” said Gillum.

He also said the trip was for work with People for the American Way and that no taxpayer dollars were spent.

“I think it’s probably important that I point out I was there for work. (I) went out with them on personal time. There was no city money spent on that trip, no city business discussed. It was frankly a couple of friends getting together,” said Gillum.

Jackson alleges that the trip, along with "a ticket to a professional baseball game, a ticket to a Broadway show ... and having some or all of these same gifts provided to his brother" may have violated the ethics code, calling them "gifts."

"Andrew still refuses to acknowledge what he did with his companions and who paid for his trip and associated costs. State law says any gift over $100 must be recorded by Gillum. Unfortunately no such recording was ever made. As a community we must stand united against city corruption and seek justice for all Tallahassee residents," said Jackson, via email.

Gillum has declined to comment on the complaint.

Mayor's Office Spokesperson Jamie Van Pelt said, "As the Mayor previously stated, this is a baseless claim, and he will not be commenting further on a partisan attack like this."

The complaint comes about two weeks after

, handing out a $1,000 "bribe" to each member of the commission.

The stunt was done in light of the recent FBI probe into local development deals in the Capital City, as well as allegations made against City Manager Rick Fernandez that he accepted a $5,000 dollar discount from the city-backed restaurant, The Edison.

Jackson has previously filed an ethics complaint against Fernandez for that discount, as well a numerous complaints against Commissioner Scott Maddox.