Though he was not found guilty of lying, prosecutors and a hung federal grand jury still believe he funneled campaign money into his personal accounts, allegedly as a result of leaving his job to run for governor.
Gillum, a former mayor of Tallahassee, was a senior fellow with the group People for the American Way, where he made $120,000 a year.
In 2016, undercover FBI agents disguised as developers took Gillum and his brother on a trip to New York on what is reported as an expensive trip to see the Broadway show “Hamilton,” meals and hotel rooms using funds raised.
The verdict is just one of 17 fraud charges a 12-member jury reached after more than four days of deliberations, but the government will retry Gillum and Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Gillum’s mentor, on the charges the jury deadlocked on, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Milligan II said, according to the New York Post.
“I and our family have felt over these last seven years under attack on all sides. They’ve quite literally tried to take everything. And the beauty is that in our system, the powers that be don’t always get to decide. Everyday people like you and me sometimes get our swing at the ball and today the jury took it,” Gillum said.
In the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election. Gillum was the Democratic nominee, while DeSantis was the Republican nominee.
The race was closely watched and highly contentious, with both candidates taking strong positions on issues such as healthcare, education, and the economy. Gillum ran on a progressive platform that included expanding Medicaid, raising the minimum wage, and protecting the environment.
DeSantis, who ultimately won the governorship, ran on a conservative platform that emphasized lower taxes, fewer regulations, and support for law enforcement.
After the election, Gillum continued to be involved in politics and advocacy. In 2020, he launched a voter registration initiative called Bring It Home Florida, which aimed to register one million new voters in the state of Florida.
In March 2020, Gillum was found in a hotel room with two other men, one of whom was reportedly suffering from a drug overdose. Gillum was not charged with a crime, but he subsequently entered a rehabilitation program for alcohol addiction. Since then, he has been involved in various advocacy efforts, including criminal justice reform and voting rights.