Andrew Gillum, former Tallahassee Mayor and one-time rising Democratic star, has been found not guilty of lying to the FBI by a federal jury. After five days of deliberation and over 30 hours of discussion, the jury acquitted Gillum of the charge, while 18 other counts – including conspiracy and wire fraud – resulted in a mistrial.
Gillum, who nearly won the race for Florida governor in 2018, had been indicted last year on charges of making false statements, wire fraud, and conspiracy. The 26-page grand jury indictment accused Gillum and his longtime associate, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, of converting political donations and grant funds into personal income.
Following the jury’s decision, Gillum expressed his gratitude for the justice system and the opportunity for everyday people to get a fair shot. Lettman-Hicks urged the government to stop wasting taxpayers’ money on bogus charges.
Although the mistrial leaves the other charges unresolved, Gillum and Lettman-Hicks have been cleared of lying to the FBI. Nevertheless, the charges highlight the ongoing issue of corruption in politics and the importance of upholding ethical standards in government.