Spence-Jones Blasts Gov's "Double Standards" - NBC 6 South Florida

Spence-Jones Blasts Gov's "Double Standards"

Embattled pol criticizes Crist for not jumping to suspend arrested Cape Coral commissioner



    Spence-Jones Blasts Gov's "Double Standards"
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    Michelle Spence-Jones and Governor Charlie Crist

    Embattled Miami city commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones unleashed a diatribe on the man who suspended her, Governor Charlie Crist, for what she claims is a double standard.

    Her main gripe: the non-suspension of Cape Coral commissioner Eric Grill, who was arrested in mid-December on felony fraud, larceny and theft charges for allegedly taking tens of thousands of dollars for his construction business but never doing any work.

    "If he was arrested in December, I was arrested in November, I got suspended immediately," Spence-Jones said yesterday. "I think that's double standards."

    Spence-Jones, who was indeed suspended twice by Gov. Crist after her arrest for grand theft for allegedly using $50,000 in public money to help fund her family's restaurant and spa businesses.

    The first suspension came in November, when Spence-Jones turned herself in to authorities to face the charges of grand theft. The second suspension came in mid-January, after Spence-Jones won back her seat in a special election but Crist decided to suspended her again anyway. Spence-Jones then sued the Governor, but a judge upheld the suspension.

    "A commissioner, Eric Grill in Cape Coral, is arrested and he should be suspended, just like, if it's gonna be across the board, it should be fair across the board to everybody," Spence-Jones said. "You know, I'm just asking for justice and fairness."

    Crist's office released a statement yesterday, saying they were looking into the Grill arrest.

    "We've just been made aware of charges pending against Commissioner Grill, we're reviewing that information and will be preparing an executive order to suspend him from public office," the statement read.

    Grill, 44, was indeed suspended by Crist later in the day.

    Regardless, Spence-Jones said it looks like Crist has two sets of rules.  

    "The state statute says, if you are arrested the governor may suspend, may," she said. "So my question becomes, why is his may different from my may?"