A trial in federal court in Tallahassee, Fla., began on Monday, April 17, for Sharon Lettman-Hicks, the CEO and board chair of the D.C.-based LGBTQ group National Black Justice Coalition, and former Tallahassee mayor and unsuccessful Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.
The trial began about 10 months after a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Florida on June 7, 2022, handed down an indictment charging both Gillum and Lettman-Hicks, who served as a campaign adviser to Gillum, with conspiracy and multiple counts of fraud.
The indictment alleged that Lettman-Hicks and Gillum engaged in an illegal political corruption scheme that began in 2015. It says Lettman-Hicks allegedly helped Gillum improperly funnel money solicited from FBI agents posing as real estate developers with a promise of providing something “very significant in return” for Gillum’s support for the developers in his role at the time as mayor of Tallahassee.
The indictment said much of the money Gillum received from the FBI sting operation went for his personal use through a company Lettman-Hicks operated called P&P communications.