Charlie Crist won't appoint a replacement for ousted Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones
The last thing Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and city commission chairman Marc Sarnoff want is a special election to replace recently suspended Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones — even if it means pushing Gov. Charlie Crist to name a new commissioner.
But the new mayor has been blocked at every turn. Over the weekend, Regalado and Sarnoff tried to get Angel Gonzalez — who resigned Monday as part of a guilty plea with prosecutors — to come to city hall for an emergency city commission meeting. His vote could create the quorum needed to appoint Spence-Jones's replacement.
That failed miserably. Gonzalez told both men to screw themselves and refused to come in, city hall insiders say. So the mayor scrambled to find a way to persuade Crist to make the pick. The city charter is unclear on whether the governor may name a replacement, but on Monday, Regalado and Sarnoff cajoled City Attorney Julie Bru into writing an opinion that in this instance, Crist is allowed to step in.
City of Miami Commission
Initially, Bru refused, according to Riptide's sources. But the mayor and the chairman continued pressing and she caved. Now Regalado is back to twisting Crist's arm.
The governor has made it absolutely clear he's not gonna do it. There will be a special election. The likely winner: Spence-Jones — a longtime adversary of both Sarnoff and Regalado.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.