Former Gainesville attorney and Andrew Gillum friend Christopher Chestnut will soon be disbarred, according to a Florida Supreme Court ruling issued Friday.
Gillum’s ties to Chestnut goes back to his childhood days in Gainesville. More recently, Chestnut was a major donor to Gillum’s gubernatorial campaign and was listed as a business partner on documents filed with the state of Florida when Gillum created an LLC in January, 2019.
The Gainesville Sun reported that the “move is connected to at least three separate Bar complaints lodged against Chestnut over the years. One of those complaints stems from the 2012 case of Emanuel Baker, a former Alachua County worker who suffered a catastrophic on-the-job accident that left him a quadriplegic with brain damage.”
According to the Gainesville Sun, “Chestnut said it was suspicious that Josh Doyle, who was previously an FBI investigator and who Chestnut says was involved in the Gillum investigation, is executive director of the Florida Bar.”
“The same FBI agent cost Andrew Gillum the election and me my Bar license,” he said. “That’s no coincidence.”
Chestnut said he plans to appeal the ruling.
In September 2016, FloridaPolitics.com reported about a meeting that included Chestnut, Andrew Gillum, and Andrew Gillum’s brother, Marcus Gillum. The meeting was revealed in an affidavit that was related to the Florida Bar investigation.
Listed below is the introduction of the Florida Bar ruling released on Friday, May 3, 2019.
Upon consideration of the reports of referee and the briefs filed in these
consolidated cases, the referees’ findings of fact and recommendations of guilt are hereby approved. However, the recommended discipline, a three-year suspension, is disapproved, and respondent is disbarred effective thirty days from the date of this order so that respondent can close out his practice and protect the interests of existing clients. If respondent notifies this Court in writing that he is no longer practicing and does not need the thirty days to protect existing clients, this Court will enter an order making the disbarment effective immediately. Respondent shall fully comply with Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 3-5.1(h). Further, respondent shall accept no new business from the date this order is filed.