Spence-Jones Indicted on Bribery Charges

Michelle Spence-Jones took $25,000 for her help

By Todd Wright
|  Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010  |  Updated 5:11 PM EDT
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Spence-Jones Indicted on Bribery Charges

Michelle Spence-Jones

We're beginning to get the feeling Michelle Spence-Jones might have a skewed sense of the term "public service."

The on-again, suspended-again Miami city commissioner was indicted by a Miami-Dade grand jury on bribery charges after she allegedly took $25,000 from a developer for her help in securing votes.

According to prosecutors, Spence-Jones approached the MDM Hotel Group and the Codina Group to "donate" funds to an entity of her choice in 2006. In return, she would vote to extend the name "Brickell Avenue" further north along SE 2nd Street in downtown.

The $25,000 was put into an account the Spence-Jones could access, prosecutors alleged. The grand jury also delivered an indictment of grand theft.

The recent allegations likely won't phase Spence-Jones, who with each indictment appears to become more endeared to the residents in District 5.

She has already been arrested for allegedly stealing public money and using it to fund her family's spa and restaurants instead of building affordable housing for her constituents. That got her suspended by Gov. Charlie Crist in November, but it also made her akin to a rock star among supporters.

Just months after the arrest, Spence-Jones ran for her seat again and won by a landslide, somehow convincing people who didn't support her to join her crusade. Crist booted her again and once again, District 5 came to Spence-Jones' defense.

Now several voters are joining the ACLU in a lawsuit against Crist claiming the repeated suspensions are against the will of the people.

We wonder what the bribery allegations will bring. A gubernatorial run, perhaps?

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