The Tallahassee City Commission voted on Wednesday unanimously to adopt a 10-year lobbying ban for anyone convicted of a felony related to bribery and honest services fraud. The ordinance will be drafted by the city attorney and brought back to the city commission at a later date.
According to information revealed at the meeting, Tallahassee will be the first major city in Florida to adopt a ban on lobbying by convicted felons.
Former Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox and two others were indicted and are currently serving prison sentences for their actions.
More recently, former Tallahassee mayor and one-time Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum was indicted by the federal government.
Former Tallahassee Mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has been indicted on multiple charges connected to campaign contribution fraud before and during his 2018 run for governor of Florida. Gillum lost to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida unsealed the 21-count indictment on Wednesday. One of Gillum’s closest advisers, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, also was charged in the 21-count indictment. Gillum, 42, and Lettman-Hicks, 53, were arrested on Wednesday and were scheduled to have their first appearance Wednesday afternoon at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee.
The 26-page indictment indicates that the Gillum investigation was part of the comprehensive corruption probe that used undercover agents to get close to some of Tallahassee’s biggest movers and shakers. Former Tallahassee Mayor and City Commissioner Scott Maddox and his associate Paige Carter-Smith, along with Tallahassee businessman J.T. Burnette were recently sentenced to prison as a result of the probe.
The indictment alleges that between 2016 and 2019, defendants Gillum and Lettman-Hicks conspired to commit wire fraud, by unlawfully soliciting and obtaining funds from various entities and individuals through false and fraudulent promises and representations that the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose.
Tallahassee businessman J.T. Burnette was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this week over public corruption charges. Burnette will also have to pay a $1.25 million fine.
He was found guilty on five charges including extortion and bribery during his trial in August.
On Wednesday U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle sentenced former Mayor and Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox to five years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to charges related to public corruption. Maddox was also the head of the Florida Democratic Party in 2003.
Maddox business associate, Paige Carte-Smith, was sentenced to two years for her role in the corruption scheme.
Judge Hinkle said Maddox and Carter-Smith were entitled to sentences below federal guidelines due to assistance offered to federal officials. Federal sentencing guidelines called for 5-7 years for Maddox and Carter-Smith.