Given that Gillum never disclosed the villa vacation, the New York hotel room, the Hamilton ticket, and the boat tour, a Tallahassee businessman filed an ethics complaint against him.
Now, following an investigation, the Florida Commission on Ethics has found probable cause that Gillum did, indeed, violate ethics laws by failing to report the freebies he received from Corey (an actual lobbyist) and Miller (an FBI agent posing as a real estate developer who was lobbying Tallahassee). An administrative law judge will conduct an evidentiary hearing in the next 45 to 60 days at which Gillum can dispute the commission’s findings, which will soon be made public. If the judge concludes that he ran afoul of the law, he or she can issue fines as well as an official reprimand. (Gillum can also enter into a settlement with the commission, though his lawyer spurned that option on Friday.)
However Gillum chooses to proceed, it’s clear that Friday’s findings undermine his account and, by extension, his credibility. Throughout the campaign, he insisted that he paid his share of the lavish excursions and never accepted gifts from lobbyists. That narrative is now almost impossible to believe. True, Gillum never performed favors for lobbyists in exchange for their largesse, which would be a federal offense. But even without a quid pro quo, his cozy relationship with lobbyists did not seem to comport with Florida law.