Emails requested by the FBI show that Mayor Gillum’s trip to Tampa in 2016 to meet with Charlie Crist and Alex Sink was originally set to include current gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham.
Gillum said the February 12th, 2016 trip, which TR first reported, addressed city business. However, new emails show that beginning in May 2015 there was a move by political insider Peter Leach and former gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink to set up a political meeting with Gillum and Gwen Graham.
On May 19th, 2015 Sink sent a message to Leach detailing the parameters of a meeting in Tampa.
Sink writes, “my next to do is start building an invitation list and you will check gwen and andrew’s schedule and make the lunch arrangements. let’s target up to 15…look forward to working
with you on this!!”
The complete message recovered from the files provided to the FBI is listed below .
On Tue, May 19, 2015 at 9:54 AM, Alex Sink
Peter, the best day for me is june 17 but i could also make the
16th work if we need to. we will target a group of about ten
people and i will start a list and pass it by you. my suggestion
for a place with a private dining area would be capital grille at
the international plaza…they have a very nice private room
upstairs, ocean prime also has a nice private room. the other
frequent lunch place for Democrats is Mise En Place which has
a good private room and the proprietess isi marianne ferenc who
is a strong Dem and does many events. it is located just near
my next to do is start building an invitation list and you will
check gwen and andrew’s schedule and make the lunch arrangements. let’s target up to 15…look forward to working with you on this!!
Ultimately, the schedules of Graham and Gillum were unable to come together and the meeting was delayed until 2016 and then only included Gillum.
At the beginning of 2016, Peter Leach reached out to Adam Corey with a sense of urgency, and asked for Gillum’s availability so he could “round up Alex Sink and Charlie.”
On Jan 15, 2016, at 11:57 AM, Peter Leach <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Adam, get the schedule for the Mayor asap so I can try to round
up Alex Sink and Charlie.
Peter H. Leach
Senior Vice President
Southport Financial Services, Inc.
5403 West Gray Street
After TR first reported about the trip, Gillum’s office told the local media the trip was related to city business.
“The mayor was invited by Peter Leach to a meeting at his office to learn about some of the work he was doing to advance wrap-around social services in schools and housing developments,” said Jamie Van Pelt, spokesman for the mayor. “While visiting Tampa the mayor also met with local political leaders before returning to Tallahassee.”
However, the latest batch of emails raises questions about the veracity of these comments from a Mayor’s office that has previously issued false statements regarding Gillum’s use of city resources for political purposes.
If the purpose of the trip was political, Gillum may have violated campaign finance laws by using “office account” resources for expenses.
In addition, city resources may have been used to pay for Dustin Daniels to accompany Gillum on the trip that was not related to city business.