Andrew Gillum, a rising Democratic star who nearly won a race for governor of Florida in 2018, was indicted on Wednesday along with a close political ally for conspiracy, wire fraud and misrepresentation.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, Gillum and longtime associate Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks are charged with making “false and fraudulent promises and representations” related to the money They had received from 2016 to 2019. The money was diverted to a company owned by Lettman-Hicks and then routed to Gillum for personal use, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Gillum and Lettman-Hicks face 21 charges, according to the press release. Gillum, a former CNN political commentator, is due for his first appearance at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee, where he resides.
In a statement released before the government announced the charges, Gillum declared his innocence and suggested the case against him was political.
“I have spent the last 20 years of my life in public service and I continue to fight for the people,” Gillum said in the statement. “Every campaign I have run has been done with integrity. Make no mistake, this case is not legal, it is political. Throughout my career, I have always stood up for the people of Florida and I spoke truth to power.
The release also included a joint statement from Marc Elias, a prominent election attorney, and David Oscar Markus, a Miami criminal defense attorney, who said, “The government got it wrong today.
The allegations cover a time when Gillum was a candidate for governor of Florida. He eventually became the party’s nominee in August 2018, but lost to Republican Ron DeSantis in November by less than 33,000 votes.
This story is broken and will be updated.