Another Questionable $20K “Gift” from an Edison Owner to Mayor Gillum

Another Questionable $20K “Gift” from an Edison Owner to Mayor Gillum

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.EDBrunchMayor

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.”




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22 Responses to "Another Questionable $20K “Gift” from an Edison Owner to Mayor Gillum"

  1. Doug   August 27, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Has anyone checked to see what kind of deal Pittman got on that banner in the Delta terminal at TLH? What is the normal rate for that kind of advertising?

    • BEC   August 27, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      A public records request is all you need to do. The email is

  2. Lisa Books   August 27, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Pitman doesn’t get a discount. No one does, as best I can tell. My former employer checked into advertising there. Clear Channel sells the spots/ad space. It wasn’t too steep but she decided against it and did billboards instead.

  3. Dr. Erwin Jackson   August 27, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    The lack of accountability and ethics is simply sickening!

  4. Regular Voter   August 27, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    It has become apparent that the mayor has no comprehension of ethical standards. Neither does his staff.

  5. Inquiring Mind   August 27, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    A quarter of the cost was for an open bar. Did city employees partake during work hours? hmmmm?

  6. Unrepresented   August 27, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Anyone else have issues with city employess helping drink $5,800 in alchohol during lunch?

    • Fran   August 28, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      That is not true. Clear Channel has never sold advertising in the Tallahassee airport. Clear Channel idols 5 years ago. Clear Channel is now IHeart media with no local connections to Tallahasee.

  7. News_Maven   August 27, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Taxes > Gillum approves budget > lobbyist Pittman.
    Pittman > Gillum.

    Follow the money.

    • Hope   August 28, 2017 at 5:38 am

      (Dis)Organized crime? But, hey he has the sheriff as a client…

  8. Diana Steinberg   August 28, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Open bar – nice! Seems that politics is the game to get into if you want to live the good life.

  9. Hope   August 28, 2017 at 5:36 am

    Sean Pittman gave a press release awhile back regarding his pledge/donation for $1 million to FSU. Does anyone know if he followed through?

  10. Snydley Whiplash   August 28, 2017 at 5:59 am

    The totality of the things we already do know at this time is overwhelmingly stacked up to weigh in at around 100% certainty that Tallahassee politics is as totally corrupt deceitful and disgusting as is our tiny city’s disgusting #1 violent crime rating in the entire state.
    Now in your mind just add in the things we do not know about yet which are the focus of the FBI investigation.
    This is going to get interesting folks.
    And it’s a total joy to watch local news outlets that normally provided cover for our totally corrupt deceitful and disgusting local crime family struggling to keep whitewashing the growing piles and piles of smelly evidence of our totally corrupt deceitful and disgusting local crime family that keep on leaking out.
    Most likely had the FBI had not caught local attorney Knowles in similar dirt in middle Georgia around 3 years back none of this would even be happening now here in Tallahassee. Thanks for squealing out you’re local partners in crime to the FBI Harold!

    • News_Maven   August 28, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Again, the wisest thing local fake news subscribers can do is to stop giving your hard-earned money to them. Do you really think your money belongs in the pockets of their corporate execs in McLean, VA?

      Subscriber? Call 1-800-999-2271 to cancel.

  11. Mr. Curious   August 28, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Ha,ha,ha,ha…What a bunch of idiots! Not them, but us! Yes, I said us. We continue to try and hob-knob with the likes of them all the while these so-called leaders of the community are on private jets, back room gatherings talking about how stupid we, the constituency, are because no matter how corrupt they get, we keep putting them right back into office. Brah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha….!!!

    Do you get my point yet people? We are causing our own problem. Would a real, ethical, yes-I-have-character, individual stand up and will represent the people of this community without impunity, please stand up and run? So far, crickets.

  12. Dirk Dynamic   August 28, 2017 at 11:02 am

    I too am intrigued my the possibility that Esquire Knowles got the FBI wrecking ball rolling in Tallahassee a few years ago.

    • Snydley Whiplash   August 28, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      Thank you Dirk Dynamic.
      The reason why Esquire Knowles may have got the FBI wrecking ball rolling is very logical based on the time line of the middle Georgia investigation beginning 3 years ago. Meaning the FBI had a year to build their case, and put the squeeze on Esquire Knowles, which quite likely produced and started the Tallahassee investigation approximately 2 years ago.
      The reasons I want it to be true are that Esquire Knowles has dirt on everybody going back to Mayor Marks and the airport fence and possibly even earlier then that. Also of no small importance here is that most elected officials and government (including city) employees have one thing in common – retirement is a privilege and not a right. What that means is any elected official and or city employee who engages in conduct unbecoming an elected official and or city employee prior to retirement may be denied the privilege of receiving or continuing to receive retirement benefits.

  13. Amanda M   August 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Does 20 grand for a brunch seem reasonable? This just seems like money is being funneled.

    • Thomas C. Hooker   August 28, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      Hennessy is pricey. Even at brunch prices on a weekday.

  14. ItsGonnaHurt   August 29, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Don’t worry Guillum will not be Governor. He will lose the primary or get indicted and will get a job at some liberal think tank and fade away. We need to elect people into public office that don’t need the money. Stop electing these pathetic people who need the $60k a year salary. Elect someone who has had a successful career and wants to give back to the community not someone who needs the paycheck

  15. Philly B.   August 29, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Rick Fernandez and his general managers and managers do the same dirty dealings everyday. Hilaman Golf Course is there private playground funded by taxpayers

  16. J Danger   August 29, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    The TOC is completely corrupt. Are folks as skeptical as I am regarding the FBI investigation. When you have someone like James Comey at the very top breaking the law, covering for the likes of the Clintons, Obamas & Lynches of the world, what is the triple down effect?
    I would like to think the men & women of the FBI follow the law and treat everyone the same but at the Federal level, I see no real justice for everyday tax payers.
    A rationale person would think no one continues to elect crooked, self-centered and self-righteous “politicians” into office but just look around…Gilliam, Marks, Maddox, and more.


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