FBI probes Tallahassee real estate projects

Subpoenas name donors to Andrew Gillum, the city's mayor, and a group supporting his run for governor

Tallahassee mayor and candidate for governor Andrew Gillum
Tallahassee mayor and candidate for governor Andrew Gillum

The FBI has started an investigation into real estate redevelopment projects in Tallahassee that could affect the 2018 race for governor.

Federal grand jury subpoenas were issued to obtain records from Tallahassee’s municipal government and the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, or CRA.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a candidate for governor, is not named in the subpoenas, which seek records from the city and the CRA on high-profile developments in the city and the individuals and companies behind them.

Named in the subpoenas are donors to Gillum and to a political committee that supports his campaign for governor.

Tallahassee real estate developments listed in the subpoenas include the upscale Edison restaurant, which occupies a city-owned building, and Hotel Duval, featuring a steakhouse and rooftop bar.

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The owners of the Edison restaurant got financial assistance from both the city and the CRA. One of the owners of the restaurant is a lobbyist who had served as the campaign treasurer of Mayor Gillum, a member of the CRA board.

Among other individuals named in the subpoenas is the chief executive office of a company setting up medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida.

Tallahassee’s city attorney, Lewis Shelley, said in an email that city staff are cooperating with the request for records in the subpoenas.

Gillum was 23 years old and a college student in 2003 when he became the youngest person elected to Tallahassee’s city commission. He was elected mayor in 2014 and was among the speakers at last year’s Democratic National Convention. [Daily Business Review] Mike Seemuth