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Developer in Cindi Hutchinson corruption case likely to get probation

The developer who did free work for former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson could resolve his case next month in a plea deal that includes no jail time.

On Tuesday, Hutchinson pleaded guilty to unlawful compensation and official misconduct and was sentenced to four months in jail starting April 15. Hutchinson voted in favor of rezonings for residential development in 2003 and 2004. Starting the next year, she showed up at the construction site to talk about improvements she needed on her nearby home. Over the next several years, developer Steve Goldstrom arranged about $14,000 worth of improvements including installing pavers and a fence, installing a toilet and changing light bulbs.

Hutchinson, who was term limited out in 2009, was charged in early 2011. Goldstrom was charged with felony perjury.

One of Goldstrom's attorneys, Richard Merlino, said that he met with the prosecutor today and that a deal was offered involving no jail time and one year probation. The case is scheduled for a hearing April 3 and at that time Goldstrom could decide to plead guilty to a misdemeanor providing false information to a police officer. 

"It is in his best interest," Merlino said.