According to a police report,Andrew Gillum, former Florida Democratic candidate who narrowly lost a bid for governor in 2018 was found “inebriated” and initially unresponsive apparently suffering a drug overdose in a hotel room where authorities also found baggies of suspected crystal methamphetamine. He is not charged with any crime and was allowed to leave the hotel room for home after he was medically checked out.
According to police, fire rescue crews were called to the Miami Beach hotel around 1 a.m. Friday regarding a suspected drug overdose. Gillum and two other men were in the hotel room.
“Mr. Gillum was unable to communicate due to his inebriated state,” the police report says.
One of the men is said to have come into the hotel room and found Gillum and Travis Dyson, 30, apparently under the influence of an “unknown substance.” Officials began chest compressions on Dyson and he was taken to a local hospital, where authorities say he is in stable condition. Gillum on the hand had stable medical signs when authorities returned for a welfare check and was allowed to leave the hotel for home, the police report says.
“While I had too much to drink, I want to be clear that I have never used methamphetamines,” Gillum said. “I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused for our movement.”
Gillum, a former mayor of Tallahassee, scored an upset in the 2018 Democratic primary for governor only to narrowly lose to Republican Ron DeSantis in the swing state. Since then, he has been seen as a rising star for Democrats
On Monday, Gillum participated in voting rallies with Florida State University and Florida A&M University, where he encouraged them to participate in the upcoming March 17 primary. He walked a few blocks with students to the early voting site located near the two campuses.
But his career has not been without controversy. During his campaign for governor, the city of Tallahassee was under an ongoing FBI corruption investigation. The probe led to the eventual indictment of city commissioner Scott Maddox and two associates. Gillum maintained he was never the target of the investigation.
In June 2019, the state ethics commission fined Gillum $5,000 for accepting gifts from a vendor while he was Tallahassee mayor. The probe involved trips Gillum took to Costa Rica and New York, a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty and a ticket to the Broadway hit, “Hamilton.” Gillum maintained he never knowingly violated any ethics laws.
The accusations against Gillum became a theme for now-Gov. Ron DeSantis during a heated campaign leading to the 2018 election, in which the Republican narrowly edged out the former mayor. The campaign drew a national spotlight, in part, because of Gillum’s attempt to become the state’s first black governor.
Federal prosecutors also were looking at potential “misuse or misreporting” of campaign money tied to the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee.
While the campaign money is unrelated to the ethics case, the Tampa Bay Times has reported that a subpoena has been issued.
The full scope of the federal probe remains unclear as being named in a subpoena does not mean a person is under investigation.