TALLAHASSEE — Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum failed to disclose two mortgages on legally required financial disclosure forms going back to 2014, publicly available records show.
Gillum, who is a Democratic candidate for governor, said he would file amended financial disclosure reports after he was asked about the issue on Tuesday by POLITICO.
“Like the vast majority of people, Mayor Gillum owes a mortgage on his home, and we’re going to file the updated forms shortly,” said Geoff Burgan, a Gillum spokesman.
Burgan said that the mortgages were not disclosed because of an “accidental mistake.”
Overall, Gillum failed to disclose two mortgages totaling $423,665, including one for his family‘s home in Tallahassee. State ethics laws require state officials to report any debts worth more than $10,000.
A complaint would have to be filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics for any formal penalties to be considered, said Kerrie Stillman, a commission spokeswoman.
“There is nothing automatic“ regarding candidate disclosure forms, she said.
By the end of the month, Gillum will also have to file a more detailed disclosure form as part of his gubernatorial campaign.
The amount of the largest mortgage he failed to disclose was $403,655. He obtained it in 2014 for the family’s Tallahassee home. That mortgage was approved by Hancock Bank, which financed 95 percent of the $424,900 purchase price. Gillum bought the house in September 2014, a month after he became mayor.
That year, Gillum made $172,000, including $36,000 as a Tallahassee city commissioner and $136,000 as youth leadership director for the Washington-based nonprofit People for the American Way, according to the group’s filings with the IRS.
His disclosure forms also did not include a $20,000 “advanced mortgage” approved by Hancock Bank in November 2014. The mortgage was taken out on a separate piece of property he previously owned.
Gillum, who in 2016 made $195,000 from income brought in from People for the American Way and serving as mayor, has tried to frame the governor’s race as him versus a group of elitist millionaires.
The Democratic gubernatorial primary field includes former Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham, whose family’s development company is working on what will be the country’s largest mall in Miami; former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine; and Winter Park businessman Chris King, both of whom have used their personal wealth to boost their campaigns.
“It’s amazing that I’m answering questions about Andrew’s mortgage, while the Graham Companies’ multibillion-dollar venture in American Dream Mall rolls on, and our self-funding opponents dump millions of dollars into their own campaigns,” said Burgan, the campaign spokesman.
“Andrew has to deal with regular issues like everyday people,” he added.
The disclosure issue comes as Gillum leads a city under continued FBI investigation over the use of taxpayer dollars for local development projects. He has not been directly implicated in the probe as mayor, but he has gotten embarrassing headlines that have damaged his gubernatorial bid.
More recently, the Tallahassee Democrat reported that Gillum joined a group of lobbyists and friends in Costa Rica, a trip that a trip that has become the subject of a long-running FBI corruption investigation. His office told the newspaper Gillum paid cash for the trip, which included a $1,400-a-night resort. During the trip, Gillum received a calendar invite from Adam Corey, a lobbyist with close ties to Gillum, to meet up at Tallahassee’s Edison Restaurant with an undercover FBI agent, according to the paper. That restaurant, in which Corey is an investor, received $2.1 million in taxpayer dollars under circumstances being looked at by federal investigators.
The Democrat reported that it was the first tie between Gillum and the FBI’s public corruption probe.