Fort Lauderdale Observer
Updated Saturday 6/7/08 • Email Corrections


Perhaps her biggest "accomplishment" has been to inspire ethics laws that are largely designed to stop her unethical conduct.

Newspapers focus on Hutchinson's ethical failures

Herald details her close relationship with firm
'that represents clients before the city,' says
she twice voted for their construction projects

Read Dan Christensen's 6/2/08 story

HERALD EDITORIAL: 'That's a no-no'

Paper criticizes Hutchinson's
'clear conflict of interest'

Read the 6/3/08 editorial


Cindi offers to do exactly what
she's banned from doing!

Once again her first reaction is to solicit cash

Read Brittany Wallman's 6/3/08 story


State Attorney & state Commission on Ethics probe
her misuse of city resources for political campaign

SUBPOENAS ISSUEDRead Brittany Wallman's 5/20/08 Sun-Sentinel story

Read Sentinel 5/20/08 blog piece containing Art Seitz's original LETTER OF COMPLAINT

Cindi to City: I'm a Liar!

  1. She's accused of illegally using city resources
  2. She issues angry denials to the press & public

Click to see postcard graphic

April 3, 2008 — After being accused of using city supplies and postage to mail an envelope full of her political postcards, "mayoral candidate" Cindi Hutchinson did something she's done before to cover her tracks: She lied about it.

"I didn't do anything wrong. I follow all the rules," she told the Sun-Sentinel's Brittany Wallman April 1. Wallman reported Hutchinson's denial that day in the Sentinel's Broward Politics blog. The City Commission agreed to an investigation by the city's Office of Professional Standards.

When blogger and former Commissioner Tim Smith questioned Cindi about it at length two days later, Cindi's denials were just as emphatic. "She says it didn't happen," Smith wrote.

Hours later Hutchinson's vehement denials were effectively declared inoperative. She issued a press release pleading guilty as charged. She tried to minimize her dishonesty by calling her misuse of city resources a "momentary lapse in judgment." She made no mention of her lies to the Sun-Sentinel and her lies to Tim Smith — lies which were lengthy, repeated and clearly more than momentary.

So now "mayoral candidate" Cindi Hutchinson is an admitted liar. What else is new?

— Cal Deal

VIDEO: Hutchinson keeps her mouth shut as Teel reveals misuse of city resources to Commission

The discussion of ethics, etc., continues for another couple of minutes after this statement. Cindi says nothing. When the discussion ends, Cindi is given the floor. She changes the subject. Minutes later, during a break, she angrily denies any involvement in the mailing when questioned by reporter Brittany Wallman. She is lying.

Recorded 4/1/08. Image is very poor quality because that's what the city provides.




"Now you're f---ing with my reputation,"
Cindi angrily told reporter in denying accusations

Hutchinson's instinct: Do the wrong thing

April 5, 2008 — When it came to managing a crisis, Cindi Hutchinson "panicked," the Sun-Sentinel reports today. "Panicked" is Cindi's word for how she handled accusations that she had misused city resources for political gain.

Hutchinson says she had to think about it for two days before she decided to tell the truth.

"I was embarassed about what I had done," she tells Brittany Wallman. "I was angry at myself because I got caught. Why didn't I just do the right thing?"

It's just one more case of the coverup being far worse than the crime.

Read the story here.



Hutchinson apologizes for misusing $4 in city postage, but not for her major offense: lying to cover it up

April 11, 2008 — Cindi Hutchinson is so, so sorry that she "got caught" misusing city resources to the tune of $4.32. But she doesn't seem to be sorry at all about her lie-infused coverup. If she is, she's not making a public show of it.

Last night (4/10/08) she appeared before the Dolphin Democrats and apologized for using city postage to mail campaign literature, according to the Sun-Sentinel's Anthony Man. Once again Cindi minimized the misuse of city resources for which she got caught. She called it a "slip" and said she was "in a hurry" and she did it "quick" and she did it "fast" and it wasn't "malicious." In an apparent concession to honorable people everywhere, Hutchinson said what she did "was wrong." Truth be told, it WAS a relatively minor transgression — for which she got caught.

Far more disturbing was her quick use of lies to try to get herself un-caught. She spewed loud, profanity-laced lies to the Sun-Sentinel's Brittany Wallman. Two days later she was more than willing to lie to her old friend and former fellow commissioner, Tim Smith. In a private, one-on-one conversation, she assured her old friend that she had done nothing wrong.

Hours later she admitted that her denials were lies.

So now that she is an admitted liar, she's apologizing for the "minor" thing and not for the big, emphatic lies that were at the core of her aggressive coverup attempt.

Her willingness to lie is all the voters need to know about "mayoral candidate" Hutchinson.

Read Anthony Man's story.



The envelope that touched off the Cindi Liescapade reportedly arrived in City Hall on March 24 ... eight days before Commissioner Christine Teel brought it up at a City Commission meeting. Cindi claims she lied to the press after Teel's report because she "panicked," giving the impression that she didn't have eight days to think about it. Cindi then spent two more days uttering lies about her actions before finding the moral fortitude to tell the truth on April 3.

Hutchinson runs off with the evidence

After being told that the envelope full of her campaign flyers had been returned to City Hall, Cindi Hutchinson rushed to the City Commission offices, got the envelope, and left, according to one report.

News of the Ethically Challenged

Hutchinson sent out this letter to 11 people with ties to the city while the City Commission was considering a ban on this unsavory practice.

Click here to see enlarged graphic. Or view PDF:

Read the Sun-Sentinel story by Brittany Wallman


Click here to see enlarged graphic. Or view PDF:

Read Sun-Sentinel blog piece about this by Brittany Wallman



4/12/08 — Today's Sun-Sentinel editorial says says Cindi Hutchinson's willingness to lie and cover up "severely damaged her reputation."

"It's not simply about breeching laws preventing the misuse of public funds," the editorial says. "It's also about compromising the public trust by lying on top of it. City residents are right to wonder that if she used deception to hide a $4.32 expenditure, what else won't she cover up?"

That's exactly what I've been saying since she used lies and deception to cover up her involvement in the giveaway of the SE 13th Street median green space in 2004.

The Sentinel says "the cloud of distrust" over Cindi is "more about character, and a deliberate attempt to deceive the public when caught in an ethical blunder."

It notes that she's apologizing for the crime, but not the cover-up. "She obviously doesn't get it completely," the editorial says.

Thank you, Sun-Sentinel!

— Cal Deal

Read the editorial.

Admitted Liar
Cindi Hutchinson


READ CINDI'S LIES to the Sun-Sentinel







Two state investigations underway!


YouTube video of Teel's statement to City Commission.

Sentinel publishes list of Cindi's 2008 contributors:

GRAPHIC: Another ethics breach by Cindi.

GRAPHIC: Cindi tries to coerce cash from people who need her vote!

Graphic of the actual postcard mailed by Cindi on the city's dime.


Sentinel editorial: "What else won't she cover up?"


Cindi isn't apologizing for her lies

More on why Cindi switched parties.

Envelope arrived eight days before Teel's disclosure

Cindi takes the envelope and runs


Cindi 'unfit' to be mayor

Cindi Hutchinson "threw a fit and started cursing" in City Hall when asked why her political flyers were in a City Commission mailing, according to Elgin Jones in the South Florida Times.

"This is just another example of her unfitness" for mayor, he writes. "She should drop her mayoral bid and move on with her life, as there is no shortage of lying politicians who abuse their positions."

Read the full item.

MORE BAD NEWS about Hutchinson below


[This was written in 2006!]

Cindi Hutchinson may claim that I oppose her re-election because I’m bitter about losing the battle over the SE 13 Street median Not true. I oppose her re-election because of what that battle taught me about her character and her trustworthiness as our representative on the City Commission.

Yes, I know this looks all very negative. But I'm not feeling at all positive about Cindi. Her conduct in the median affair was deplorable. She should not be re-elected.

— Cal Deal

Cindi Breaks a Promise

During the SE 13th Street median controversy, well-known activist Ray Dettmann met with Cindi in City Hall. He asked her for one thing: A City Commission vote on whether the median should be preserved as public green space or turned into a parking lot.

In front of a witness, Cindi promised Dettmann that she would call for a Commission vote on the issue.

Cindi went back on her word and ignored that promise.

Cindi's Questionable Ethics Spark Ethics Reform Debate

She strong-arms businesses for charitable donations by sending requests on city stationery and using city postage. Sound familiar?? What's worse, those requests "went to people who rely on her votes."

Read 2/26/07 Sun-Sentinel story

Hutchinson finds tougher
ethics law 'offensive'

Read 6/25/07 Sun-Sentinel story

Cindi 'philosophically opposed'
to city's tougher ethics rules

After getting caught violating the city's ethics rules, Cindi Hutchinson told Brittany Wallman of the Sun-Sentinel that she is "philosophically opposed" to those tougher ethics rules. — Sun-Sentinel, 4/5/08

Cindi switches parties (again)
when it's politically convenient (again)

In 2007, Just before announcing her run for mayor in predominantly Democratic Broward, Cindi Hutchinson decided that she had better be predominantly Democratic and switched parties. Cindi could not give a good explanation for the change.

"For the last eight months or so I have not aligned myself with the Republican Party and the decisions they have been making at the federal level and state level," she said vaguely.

Hutchinson — a Democrat for most of her life — flipped to the Republicans in 1999 during her first run for the District 4 City Commission seat. She reportedly made the flip after they offered her financial assistance. Asked in 2007 why she had made that earlier change in parties, "Flip-Floppin'" Hutchinson told The Herald, "I really don't remember."

A woman of great principle, that Cindi!

UPDATE 4/11/08: Cindi is now telling the Sun-Sentinel that George Bush's dazzling "compassionate conservatism" is what got her to change parties in 1999. So we are expected to believe that within month of George Bush declaring his candidacy, she was so smitten that she walked away from her lifelong attachment to the Democratic Party. She says she switched back to the Democratic Party late in 2007 because she is unhappy about the war in Iraq. Asked why she had waited until the war was nearly five years old, she said, "It just took a while to change. ... It got away from me, I don't know."
Full Sun-Sentinel story.



Read the story of the SE 13 Street Median battle — written as it happened

Also see median graphics at right.

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February 2006 — If just 61 voters had changed their minds, Cindi Hutchinson would have been forced into a runoff.

Hutchinson squeaked by with just 51.6% of the vote in the February '06 primary election. From 2000 to 2006, her vote total declined by more than 3,000, I'm told.

If Charles Jordan had waged a stronger campaign — going door-to-door early and often as Cindi apparently did in 2000 — he probably would have become the new District IV commissioner.



Click to see blowup!

Cindi's 2008 contributors: Developers! Developers! Developers!

The Sun-Sentinel's Brittany Wallman has published a list of Cindi's campaign contributors on the Sentinel's Broward Politics blog. The list is chock full of developers and the like! Check it out here.

High-Rise Hutchinson
takes developers' cash

"City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson won her seat in 2000 after attacking the incumbent's allegiance to developers. She now includes those same developers as her own campaign contributors, and her votes for major development projects are a source of criticism on the campaign trail. ...

"Hutchinson attracted some enemies when she voted to settle the Hyde Park Market case, resulting in approval of a 42-story tower. She also voted to let the historic Gypsy Graves house be demolished -- which she says she now regrets -- and voted for many other high- and mid-rises." — Reported by Brittany Wallman, Sun-Sentinel, 2006

High-Rise Hutchinson votes in favor of 13,000 more residential units downtown

Read Sun-Sentinel Story



Despite numerous complaints to Cindi, hookers operated openly and unabated in District IV

Months of complaints to Cindi got nowhere until she was publicly embarrassed by this flyer. Then, as if by magic, the hookers were soon gone.

When hookers are brazenly walking the streets of a neighborhood, citizens shouldn't have to embarrass their commissioner in order to get action.

Hookers & schoolkids share the same streets in Cindi's District



Click on images below for blowup, or download PDF files of graphics.


She secretly plots the giveaway of green space on SE 13th Street

SUMMARY: In 2003-'04, Hutchinson secretly plotted to turn public green space — a median on SE 13 Street — into a parking lot for the benefit of private interests. She kept her plot secret from long-time neighborhood homeowners. When the digging began and she was confronted about it, she played dumb, pointed fingers and did everything except admit her detailed knowledge of the secret project.

A public records request produced the smoking gun: Emails revealing the depth of her involvement in that green space giveaway.

A damnable performance by a public official if there ever was one.

Background on Cindi's
Public Land Giveaway


A public records request on Cindi's email reveals she plotted to give away the median for more than a year — while keeping her plot secret from residents!

Cindi Ducks Responsibility

Cindi pretends she's trying to find out who okayed the destruction of the median — but she was in on it all along!!!

Cindi Plays Favorites

Cindi makes nice to the "powerbroker" while keeping local residents in the dark about plans to destroy public green space. Note how she evades three requests for meetings!!!!!!!

Who's Who Around the Median

Here's who benefited from Cindi's secret plot to give away public green space for private parking

Popular Activist Says
It's Time for Cindi to Go
(And he says it in 2006!!)

Read the letter.



A preventable disaster that Cindi failed to prevent!

Floyd Hull Stadium is destroyed in 2005 with Cindi's OK. The playing fields are piled high with hurricane debris! This is done with vacant county land sitting just down the street.

See the amazing images!

8 Pages

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Cal Deal
1317 SE 2nd Ave.
Fort Lauderdale 33316

(954) 295-3726

Always do right. This will gratify some people
and astonish the rest.
Mark Twain