Spence-Jones, Rev. Dunn Square Off In Court
MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones and Reverend Richard Dunn squared off in court on Monday.
Dunn filed a lawsuit to prevent Spence-Jones from serving a third term in office.
After the hearing, which lasted nearly an hour, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jorge E. Cueto said he had made up his mind as to whether the commissioner could run for a third term and would issue his decision possibly in the next two days.
In January 2010 Spence-Jones was suspended by then-Governor Charlie Crist during an investigation into possible misuse of office. During that time Dunn filled her seat on the commission.
After being cleared of all charges, Spence-Jones returned to her seat in September 2011. The following month, City Attorney Julie Bru ruled that Spence-Jones could run for a third term since she didn’t fulfill her two terms.
Dunn’s attorney and former State Rep. J.C. Planas argued that Spence-Jones should not be allowed to run for a third term in November since she did receive back pay for the time she missed, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. He also argued that Spence-Jones remained a commissioner during her suspension which is not the same as being removed from office.
Spence-Jones’ attorney Bruce Rogow argued that while the commissioner was suspended, she was unable to fill her second term because she was not able to perform any “official act, duty, or function” of her office.
After the hearing, attorneys for each side said they plan to appeal the verdict if it doesn’t go their way.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.