Federal prosecutors are dropping corruption charges against Andrew Gillum — the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee who narrowly lost to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — after a jury acquitted him on one count and hung on remaining charges that he pocketed campaign cash and illegally receiving gifts, including theater tickets to “Hamilton.”
Prosecutors initially said they would retry Gillum after a jury acquitted him on one count of lying to the FBI but failed to reach a verdict on 17 counts of wire fraud and a wire fraud conspiracy count at the conclusion of his May 4 trial. However, on Monday, the prosecution filed a one-paragraph motion that asked a judge to dismiss the remaining charges against Gillum and his co-defendant, Sharon Lettman-HIcks.
Gillum’s defense attorneys said now their client can “resume his life and public service.”
“Andrew Gillum had the courage to stand up and say ‘I am innocent.’ And that is finally being recognized. We want to thank the hard working jury who did their job and explained to the government why it should drop the case,” Gillum’s attorney David O. Markus told the Associated Press in a statement.
ANDREW GILLUM TRIAL: RISING DEMOCRATIC STAR FACES 17 COUNTS OF FRAUD, LYING TO FBI DURING BID AGAINST DESANTIS
U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor, a Trump appointee who presided over the trial, did not issue an immediate ruling Monday on the prosecutions’ motion.
Gillum, 43, is the former mayor of Tallahassee and was once a rising star within the Democratic Party. He came within 34,000 votes of defeating DeSantis in the 2018 gubernatorial election, which triggered an automatic recount under state law.
FORMER FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE ANDREW GILLUM INDICTED ON CONSPIRACY, WIRE FRAUD CHARGES
Gillum’s troubles expanded beyond the alleged charges as, in 2020, Gillum was found in a Miami Beach hotel room with someone who had apparently overdosed on drugs.
Police said Gillum was too inebriated to talk about what happened when they arrived on the scene. While no one was ever charged with any crime involving the incident, Gillum withdrew from public life for months.
He also sought treatment for alcohol abuse and depression.
DESANTIS BANS STATE FUNDING FOR DIVERSITY, INCLUSION PROGRAMS AT FLORIDA PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
Prosecutors had claimed Gillum committed fraud because he was struggling financially after quitting his $120,000-a-year job with the progressive People for the American Way group when he decided to run for governor. Lettman-Hicks, a longtime political adviser to Gillum and former executive with the group, was accused of conspiring with Gillum to divert the contributions to his personal accounts. Jurors also deadlocked on those counts.
The jury found Gillum not guilty of charges that he lied about his interactions with undercover FBI agents posing as developers who paid for a 2016 trip he and his brother took to New York, which included a ticket to the hit Broadway show “Hamilton.” Gillum contended his brother provided the ticket.
Gillum’s defense team had argued that the charges were politically motivated.
Fox News’ Lawrence Richards and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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