Spence-Jones Enters Plea & Race to Replace Herself in Same Day

Suspended city commissioner pleads not guilty, files to run for own seat

It was a busy day for embattled Miami pol Michelle Spence-Jones.

The suspended city commissioner pled not guilty to grand theft charge, then officially entered the race to replace herself in her commission seat.

NBCMiami.com has learned that Spence-Jones filed the paperwork this morning to declare her candidacy for the District Five seat within hours of her attorney entering the plea in a Miami-Dade Circuit Courtroom.

Spence-Jones did not appear in court to answer the charge, which accuses her of taking $50,000 in county bond money for her own personal use.

In an odd moment during this morning's hearing, Judge Yvonne Colodny disclosed that she had accepted a Facebook friend request from Spence-Jones recently but immediately de-friended the politician after her arrest.

Spence-Jones was suspended from her seat by Florida Governor Charlie Crist in November after she turned herself in to state authorities.

A defiant Spence-Jones denied the charges at the time of her arrest, vowing to clear her name.

"I stand here today, swearing before Almighty God that I have never ever violated my oath of office," Spence-Jones said. "This case is not about public corruption. The grant provided to me and my family was provided prior to me even being in office. This charge that has been brought today by the state attorney's office is the result of a witchhunt."

The special election to replace her happens in January. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us