Cindi Hutchinson Trial
Here is the reply I received today from an inquiry I made of the States' Attorneys' Office -
The Broward State Attorney's Office has an active, ongoing case against former Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson. Assistant State Attorney Deborah Zimet in our Special Prosecutions Unit is handling the case.
Ms. Hutchinson is accused of exchanging her commission votes for gifts from developers. She is charged with 11 public corruption-related charges, including unlawful compensation, official misconduct, petty theft, grand theft, conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation and perjury.
The case against Hutchinson includes some bizarre behavior for a Commissioner once considered to be an "anti-development" hero.
Hutchinson is accused of accepting "gifts" from a developer, after voting for the developers' large housing project in her District.
The gifts reportedly included, among other things, cash, a new stove, refrigerator, washer and dryer, and something she could use to completely finish off her political career -
a new toilet!
Here is an excerpt from a Sun-Sentinel article a few years back that detailed the charges against Hutchinson-
Starting in 2005, Goldstrom said he sent over a steady stream of subcontractors to do jobs for Hutchinson, including planting ficus trees, doing "marble work" in a barbecue area at the rear of her home and a $4,000 paver installation. All of it was paid for by the development company and Hutchinson never objected, Goldstrom and others said under oath.
"She had implied to me that she had some financial problems, you know …," Goldstrom said. "And I said, well, you know I'll take care of you and I'll throw you some money…"
Goldstrom estimated he gave her "maybe three" separate payments of between $2,000 and $5,000 each. For the exact total, he told prosecutors to look through company records for checks made out to him which he said he then cashed and gave the money to her.
Detectives said Hutchinson lied to them when they went to her house on Sept. 9 to ask about the home improvements. She told them she didn't know any of Wright's associates and didn't mention any of the work the subcontractors did for her. Minutes after they left, her cellphone records showed she called Goldstrom. Goldstrom told prosecutors that she told him there were people "sniffing around at my house" and asked if there were any records of what had been done at her home. "She was concerned," Goldstrom said. "She called me a bunch of times."
Hutchinson professes her innocence. Her attorney says the gifts were just gifts between friends and had nothing to do with Hutchinson political office.