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Miami Official Loses Challenge to Governor

MIAMI (CN) On Friday afternoon, a Miami state court judge dismissed the case twice-suspended Miami City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones filed against the Florida governor for removing her from office after she was arrested for grand theft.

Spence-Jones was asking Judge Victoria Platzer to overturn the governor's action and allow her to reclaim her position as City Commissioner for one of Miami's poorest areas, Liberty City and Overtown.

During her suspension, The Miami Herald reported that Spence-Jones was arrested yet again for allegations in an unrelated case accusing her of soliciting a $25,000 contribution to her non-profit organization from renowned Miami developer Armando Codina in exchange for a favorable vote on Codina's downtown Miami development project in 2006.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist suspended Michelle Spence Jones in November after she was arrested on grant theft charges for allegedly redirecting $50,000 in Miami-Dade funds to a family business in 2005. He suspended her again in January after she used a loophole to run in the special election held to replace her and won.

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

The Rev. Richard P. Dunn, who came in second to Spence Jones in the special election, replaced her.

She was represented in Miami State Court by Dennis Bedard.

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