Former Florida gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum was found not guilty of lying to the FBI on Thursday by a federal jury. Jurors were deadlocked and the court declared a mistrial for the other 18 counts – which included charges of wire fraud and conspiracy – against him and co-defendant Sharon Lettman-Hicks.
Gillum, a once-rising Democratic star who nearly won a 2018 race for Florida governor, was indicted last year on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements.
“They’ve quite literally tried to take everything from us. And the beauty is, is that in our system, the powers at be don’t always get to decide. Everyday people like you and me sometimes get our swing at the at the ball,” Gillum said following the jury’s decision.
“(A)s far as I’m concerned, they realized 2 through 19 is bogus. Now hopefully we can get our lives back, when the government decides to stop wasting its money, our money, our tax dollars, all of your tax dollars,” Lettman-Hicks said.
According to CNN affiliate WCTV, the jury reached the verdict on the charge of lying to the FBI after deliberating for five days and more than 30 hours.
A 26-page grand jury indictment that was unsealed last year alleged Gillum and longtime associate, Lettman-Hicks, engaged in a yearslong scheme to turn political donations and grant funds into personal income. According to a Department of Justice news release, the two obtained funds through “false and fraudulent promises and representations that the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose.”
Gillum was also accused of lying to the FBI during an investigation into corruption inside Tallahassee City Hall, where he served as mayor, and was accused of promising political favors to those who financially supported him.