He almost beat DeSantis to be Florida’s governor. Now Andrew Gillum is indicted


Andrew Gillum, the former mayor of Tallahassee who came within about 34,000 votes of beating Ron DeSantis in the 2018 race for Florida governor, was indicted by federal authorities and arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday, according to court documents.

The 21-count indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday following his arrest, accuses Gillum and another associate, Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks, with conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

Federal prosecutors allege that between 2016 and 2019, Gillum and Lettman-Hicks, a consultant and one of Gillum’s closest advisers, solicited and obtained money from people “through false and fraudulent promises and representations that the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose,” according to the news release. Instead, that money was diverted to a company owned by Lettman-Hicks, who paid Gillum “disguised as payroll payments … for his personal use.”

READ MORE: Andrew Gillum discusses the night his political star crashed in a Miami Beach hotel room

In a statement, Gillum said the case was politically motivated.

“Every campaign I’ve run has been done with integrity. Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political,” he said. “There’s been a target on my back ever since I was the mayor of Tallahassee. They found nothing then, and I have full confidence that my legal team will prove my innocence now.”

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in a federal courthouse in Tallahassee.

This is a breaking story that will be updated.