Steve Gonot Sentenced to One Year in Jail; Appeal Under Way

Steve Gonot, the former Deerfield Beach commissioner convicted in May of stealing campaign funds and of misconduct charges, was sentenced today to one year in jail.

Gonot will be posting $15,000 bond to stay out of jail while the appeals process plays out. He was also sentenced to five years' probation and 500 hours of community service, according to our friend at the courthouse, Chaz Stevens.

Gonot, 54, was found guilty of felony grand theft for stealing $5,135 of his own campaign money as well as misdemeanor charges of falsifying public records for the phony treasurer's report and official misconduct.

Here's what the State Attorney's Office said at the time of Gonot's arrest:

The arrest warrant signed Wednesday charges Gonot with unlawfully misusing $5,135 in campaign money for his personal use by writing a check from his campaign fund to a long-time friend for "supplies and equipment reimbursement" for his campaign.
Investigators charge that  no such equipment had been delivered by the time Gonot had falsely listed the transaction on his January 2008 campaign treasurer's report, and that  two computers were belatedly delivered to Gonot by the friend only after Gonot was questioned about the campaign check by FDLE investigator Christopher Pate.

Besides the two third-degree felony charges, Gonot is charged with two misdemeanors: a candidate falsifying campaign finance reports, and a public officer falsifying records. Bond on the three charges totals $3,000.

The state reportedly wanted Gonot to serve four years in prison, while Gonot's defense called for probation.

Gonot had been free on bail prior to his sentencing.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley