FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Jurors found a former Deerfield Beach commissioner guilty of three campaign finance related charges in a Fort Lauderdale courtroom Tuesday.
Steve Gonot’s fate was decided in less than an hour. Two of the charges, official misconduct and grand theft over $5,000, each carry a sentence of up to five years in prison. The third charge of falsifying records is a misdemeanor which has a penalty of up to one year in the Broward County jail.
Broward Assistant State Attorney David Schulson convinced a jury that Gonot unlawfully used $5,135 in campaign money for his personal use. Gonot allegedly wrote the check to a long-time friend for “supplies and equipment reimbursement” for his campaign. Investigators found that no such equipment existed by the time Gonot falsely listed the transaction on his campaign treasurer’s report.
Broward County Circuit Judge Barbara McCarthy approved request for the former commissioner to remain out on bond with his passport forfeited.
Gonot is scheduled to be sentenced on June 20th.