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Here’s one thing Andrew Gillum could do to clear up questions about his trips with lobbyists

He could waive his confidentiality and open up to public scrutiny a state ethics case against him.
Published Sep. 12, 2018

Andrew Gillum's release of receipts for trips he took with lobbyists raised more questions than answers last week.

But there's one thing Gillum could do to help clear it up: waive his confidentiality and open up to public scrutiny all the records in the state ethics case against him.

His lawyer, Barry Richard, told the Tallahassee Democrat that Gillum plans to do just that – eventually.

Richard said Gillum released to the press all of the records he gave to the ethics investigator looking into Gillum's 2016 trips to New York City and Costa Rica.

The trips were with Gillum's longtime friend and lobbyist Adam Corey, and the records Gillum's campaign released consisted of a few pages of receipts and bank records that they said showed that he paid for his trips.

News of the trips prompted a Tallahassee businessman to file an ethics complaint against him last year.

Ethics investigations are confidential by default, but Gillum could waive secrecy in his, which would open up the case and its proceedings to the public. Richard told the Democrat that the mayor "definitely will" do it at some point.

Richard said he's advised Gillum not do it until after the ethics commission takes some action on the case, like issuing a report.

"Andrew asks me what I think he should do," Richard told the Democrat. "I respond. I think as his lawyer it would not be responsible for me to say, 'Just open it up' when we have no idea who put what in there. He's certainly not going to do it before the (investigative) report is finished for the commission."