Spence-Jones Gets Help in Seat Battle

Voters join suspended pol's suit vs. Gov. Crist

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Michelle Spence-Jones

    Suspended Miami pol Michelle Spence-Jones is getting a little more help in her never-ending fight to get back her commission seat.

    Five voters, with the help of the ACLU of Florida, have joined the lawsuit Spence-Jones filed against Gov. Charlie Crist earlier this month after he suspended her from her seat.

    Spence-Jones Takes on Crist

    [MI] Spence-Jones Takes on Crist
    Ousted Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones wants a piece of Gov. Charlie Crist in court. (Published Monday, Jan 4, 2010)

    It was the second time Spence-Jones was suspended from the District 5 seat by Crist. The first suspension came in November, when Spence-Jones turned herself in to authorities to face charges of grand theft. The second suspension came two weeks ago, after Spence-Jones won back her seat in a special election.

    Spence-Jones had plead not guilty to a grand theft charge, and has steadfastly maintained her innocence throughout the ordeal.

    Spence-Jones Hearing

    [MI] Spence-Jones Hearing
    Michelle Spence-Jones loses round 1 of her fight against Gov. Crist, who has now suspended her twice from her Miami commission seat. (Published Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010)

    Late Tuesday night, the city commission appointed Rev. Richard P. Dunn to fill the open seat. Dunn had finished second to Spence-Jones in the special election.

    "Governor Crist has no authority to strip the voters of District 5 of their chosen representative," said the ACLU's Muslima Lewis, in a released statement. "The Governor is trampling on the rights of voters who elected Spence Jones back into office with full knowledge of the charges against her. She is innocent until proven guilty."

    The trial date is set for Feb. 23.