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Posted on March 2, 2015
Tallahassee Reports has learned that Sean Pittman, Mayor Gillum’s travel companion on three trips over the last four months, was registered to lobby the City Commission for an insurance company seeking business from the City of Tallahassee during two of those trips.
The form on file with the City of Tallahassee is shown below and shows Sean Pittman was the registered lobbyist for Nationwide insurance as of 8/21/2014 which was bidding for work with the City.
City Commissioner Andrew Gillum was elected Mayor on August 26, 2014.
Gillum told Byron Dobson of the Tallahassee Democrat that he traveled with Sean Pittman and others to Chattanooga, Tennessee in October, 2014 and Charelston, S.C. in November, 2014. During this time, Pittman was registered with the City to lobby the Mayor and City Commissioners.
Pittman’s client finished fourth in the bidding which was voted on during the January 28th, 2015 City Commission meeting.
Mayor Andrew Gillum did make comments during the meeting which questioned specific aspects about the bidding process.
The lobbying form also has a question which asks the lobbyists to “disclose any direct business association or partnership with any current member of the City Commission.”
Mr. Pittman revealed no relationship on the form with Gillum even though records show that Pittman’s company ESP Media was a consultant for Gillum’s Mayoral campaign which ended on August 26, 2014, after he had registered to lobby the City.
The Gillum mayoral campaign paid Pittman’s company approximately $97,000.
In addition, Gillum stated that he paid for Pittman’s hotel during the Chattanooga and Charleston trips.
What are the ramifications of these transactions? TR is investigating.