‘I don’t take free trips from anybody…’
Text messages between Gillum and former lobbyist Adam Corey, who arranged outings with undercover agents looking into city corruption, were among more than 100 pages of records Corey gave the ethics commission, which is also investigating trips to Costa Rica and New York that Gillum took in 2016.
Corey’s lawyer released the records Tuesday, just two weeks before the election, because the state ethics commission issued a subpoena for the records just last week.
The text messages show that, contrary to what his campaign has said, Gillum knew the tickets came from “Mike Miller,” who was an FBI agent posing as a developer looking into city corruption.
“Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton tonight at 8 p.m.,” Corey texted Gillum on Aug. 10, 2016.
“Awesome news about Hamilton,” Gillum replied, according to the records.
The texts appear to refute what Gillum’s campaign said just days after his unlikely win in the Democratic primary for Florida governor.
The campaign said in a Sept. 4 press release that Gillum’s brother, Marcus, gave him the ticket.
“After the trip, Mayor Gillum learned Marcus Gillum had obtained that ticket in a swap with Adam Corey for a concert ticket,” the campaign said.
Questions about Gillum’s trip to New York have dogged the candidate since the primary, with his Republican opponent, former Congressman Ron DeSantis, repeatedly linking Gillum to the FBI probe.
During Sunday’s debate, DeSantis asked Gillum about the tickets.
“Did you pay for the ‘Hamilton’ tickets?” DeSantis asked.
Gillum avoided directly answering the question.
“First of all, I am a grown man,” Gillum replied. “My wife and I take vacations and we pay for our own vacations. … I don’t take free trips from anybody. I’m a hardworking person, I know that may not fit your description of what you think people like me do, but I’ve worked hard for everything that I’ve gotten in my life.”