Sunday, March 26, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Gov. Crist Suspends Miami Official Again

MIAMI (CN) - Gov. Charlie Crist kept his promise and suspended Michelle Spence-Jones for a second time after she won the special election for City Commissioner. Crist then appointed the Rev. Richard P. Dunn, who lost to Spence-Jones in the Jan. 12 special election, to replace her.

The twice-suspended commissioner is expected to challenge the governor's authority to suspend her at a Feb. 22 court hearing.

If Spence-Jones succeeds, she can reclaim her position as City Commissioner for one of Miami's poorest areas, Liberty City and Overtown.

On Nov. 3, 2009, Spence-Jones was sworn in as Miami's City Commissioner, winning more than 82 percent of the vote.

That same day, she was arrested on charges of grand theft for allegedly redirecting $50,000 in Miami-Dade County funds to a family business in 2005.

Crist then suspended her, and vowed to do it again if she won the special election.

Spence Jones sued, claiming that the governor was unconstitutionally trying to prohibit her from serving in office.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.