If you were looking to have lunch at the Edison this past Saturday you were out of luck. The City subsidized venture was closed to taxpaying citizens for a private party hosted by the Mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, and sponsored by the Pittman Law Group, a City of Tallahassee vendor.
Pittman Law Group is owned by state and local lobbyist Sean Pittman.
Mr. Pittman’s group received the City’s lobbyist contract even though the group did not have the lowest bid. See story here. Mayor Gillum voted for the Pittman’s group to be awarded the contract.
Also, the lobbyist contract was later extended by the Mayor’s office without a vote. See story here.
This is the same Sean Pittman that traveled with the Mayor, while he was registered to lobby the City Commission for an insurance company seeking business from the City of Tallahassee. See story here.
Titled the “Mayor’s Brunch”, the event closed the restaurant from 11-4 on Saturday and will collect approximately $25,000 in revenue for the owners. Sean Pittman was identified as a part owner in the Edison last year.
There is little public information on the event and there is no information on the City of Tallahassee website. However, TR determined that the event was dedicated to black state legislators.
The event raises more question about the conflicts that have dogged the Edison, whose developer is a close friend to Mayor Gillum and served as Gillum’s campaign manager.
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? Is this acceptable behavior for elected officials?
How can Mayor Gillum vote on anything to do with Edison now that he has aided a City vendor, who is part owner in the Edison, in making money for his investment?
TR will continue to investigate.