Testimony Continues In Spence-Jones Trial
MIAMI (CBS4) – The bribery trial against Michelle Spence-Jones continued Thursday with more testimony from her former administrative assistant.
Jonelle Adderley testified that she worked with Spence-Jones to help her set up fundraisers for the MLK Trust Charity. That charity is at the center of the bribery case
Prosecutors charge that the charity was just a shell to obtain money from a major Miami developer. Her defense attorney has said that Spence-Jones was within her right to solicit donations for the charity.
Prosecutors said Miami developer Armando Codina and another chief developer, Richard Glas, made a $25,000 donation to the Friends of MLK Trust, the non-profit organization which prosecutors allege Spence-Jones ran from her City Hall office.
At the time, Codina was awaiting a vote from city commissioners on a downtown development project. Prosecutors said Codina thought the money would be going to an event honoring former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler.
To prove the bribery case against Spence-Jones the state will have to weave together a complex group of people and documents to prove their case
Adderley previously testified she helped Spence-Jones with creating a Web site for the Martin Luther King Trust, a charity to benefit Liberty City. She also said that a variety of people and organizations, including Codina, were solicited for donations by Spence-Jones.
Spence-Jones sat in trial Thursday with the Bible on her desk. She also keeps a yellow legal pad and occasionally takes notes.
Before Thursday’s testimony began, she held her husband’s hand and also greeted a number of her supporters who showed up in court.
The trial is expected to last about a month.
Spence-Jones is also facing a separate 2009 grand theft charge for allegedly steering $50,000 in county grant money to a family-run business, before her elected tenure in office. She’s pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.