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Posted on August 27, 2017
Tallahassee Reports has obtained a copy of a receipt that shows Sean Pittman, an Edison owner, paid approximately $20,000 for an event titled the “Mayors Brunch” that was headlined by Andrew Gillum on April 7, 2017.
Despite the name, the event is not sanctioned or approved by the City of Tallahassee. Mr. Pittman has held the event for a number of years.
TR wrote about the conflicts associated with the “Mayor’s Brunch” last year after we obtained a picture that showed Mayor Gillum speaking to the participants at the event in front of signage for the Pittman Law Group.
Following the 2016 article we posed two questions with the City of Tallahassee Ethics Officer:
How can it be that the Mayor can vote in favor of a business associate and then headline an an event financed by the business associate?
How can Mayor Gillum vote on anything to do with the Edison now that he has aided a City of Tallahassee vendor, who is part owner in the Edison, in making money for his investment?
We were told by the Ethics Officer that a discussion took place among city officials and the possible conflicts would be addressed.
Based on documents and a video obtained by TR , it appears little has changed with the 2017 event.
A review of the partial video shows that city vendors and city staff attended the Friday event which took place from 11 am to 2 pm.
The city staff included the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Dustin Daniels, and aide, Jamie Van Pelt.
Did city staffers pay their own way?
Also, at the time of the event, Gillum was a gubernatorial candidate. Is the payment for such an event regulated by election laws?
Imagine if you were running for governor and wanted to throw a party for potential donors. Wouldn’t this be a campaign expense?
A review of Gillum’s campaign account did not find any expenditures for the Mayors Brunch event.
Ultimately, the answers to these questions hinge on a question Mayor Gillum has had a problem answering lately – was the event city business or personal?
TR will continue to investigate.
Listed below is a receipt from the 2017 event that shows Sean Pittman paid $19,885.35. There appears to be no “owner discount.”