Miami Commissioner Michelle-Spence Jones Files Lawsuit Against Mayor Tomas Regalado, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle

Commissioner files federal civil rights lawsuit claiming false arrest, malicious prosecution

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    Steve Litz/
    Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones on her first day back at Miami City Hall.

    Miami commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Monday against Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle claiming they conspired to charge her in two separate criminal cases.

    The 106-page lawsuit, which also names the assistant state attorney and an SAO investigator, claims there was fabrication and concealment of evidence, false arrest, malicious prosecution and a civil rights conspiracy.

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    According to the suit, Rundle, "serving as the investigatory, police and prosecutorial arm of the Mayor...manufactured false evidence, hid and hid and witheld exculpatory evidence, intimidated and manipulated witnesses, defamed Spence-Jones, and repeatedly attempted to manipulate the political process, in a corrupt attempt to remove, arrest, imprison and forever ruin a dedicated Miami public servant."

    Spence-Jones was twice suspended from her District 5 seat after she was charged with bribery and grand theft in 2009. She was later exonerated and reinstated to her seat after nearly two years.

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    "Politics should never play a role in our justice system," Spence-Jones said in a statement. “My hope and prayer is that no one should ever have to endure the pain, embarrassment and suffering that my family and I had to endure. We continue to pray that our stand against injustice will finally have its day in court."

    "We will review the complaint and will respond and challenge it at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner," Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.

    Pat Santangelo, a spokesman for Regalado says the mayor hasn't seen the lawsuit and wouldn't comment.

    "It looks like it's pure politics," Santangelo said.

    Spence-Jones had filed a letter of intent in February to sue Fernandez Rundle, claiming damages included "loss of liberty; economic losses; deprivation of her right to hold elected office; free speech/association rights; loss of reputation; and non-economic charges including humiliation, scorn, ridicule, physical harm, and emotional/psychological distress."