Recently released emails show that Dustin Daniels, former Chief of Staff for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, was involved with coordinating a Tampa political event for Gillum when he was employed by the city of Tallahassee. So much so, that Daniels actually took directions from Gillum confidante and city lobbyist Adam Corey.
Also, the emails show no support for comments made to the Tallahassee Democrat by Gillum spokesman Jamie Van Pelt explaining the city purpose for the trip to Tampa.
The political event, which took place in Tampa in February 2016, was first revealed by Tallahassee Reports and has since been covered by other local and state-wide media.
Gillum traveled to the Tampa event with Adam Corey and Dustin Daniels on a private plane owned by Peter Leach, a developer and Democratic party donor.
When the trip was exposed by TR, the Mayor’s office said the trip was related to discussions about affordable housing.
“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 newly released emails have no mention of affordable housing.
Rather, the communications were dominated by the logistics associated with setting up an an event at a high-end Tampa restaurant to expose Mayor Gillum to important Democratic Party power brokers that included Alex Sink.
The emails also show that Daniels was involved in scheduling the event, gathering input from the host about what was expected of Gillum at the meeting, and working with the host on a Gillum biography.
When Adam Corey asked Daniels to coordinate with the Leach, Daniels wrote in an email:
I hope this message finds you well. Adam Corey asked that I reach out and send you the attached biography of Mayor Gillum. Please take a look and let me know if we can provide any additional information.Related to that, I wanted to ask you if you could provide some insight into the lunch meeting we have scheduled next Friday. Could you let me know who will be attending the meeting and also if Mayor Gillum should prepare anything?
We both look very much forward to connecting again next week.
Thanks and all the best,
When Leach informed Daniels the provided bio was lacking, Daniels responded:
Thanks for the feedback, Peter. We absolutely have a much more detailed and substantive bio. We will make it available to you ASAP, and it includes more information about the Mayor’s accomplishments as well as the stances he has taken regarding Syrian Refugees, Marriage Equality, the confederate flag, etc.
Daniel’s was also tied to the use of city resources in the NGP VAN controversy which was settled when Gillum reimbursed the city of Tallahassee $5,000 for software that was used for political purposes.
Before the payment, Daniels -who had passwords for the software -maintained that the software was not used for any political purposes.