Come next November, Michelle Spence-Jones will no longer be part of the Miami City Commission. Despite the fact that she spent 21 months out of office while on suspension as she fought two felony charges, an appeals court ruled today that since Spence-Jones was successfully elected to two consecutive terms she is barred by term limits from running again in November.
Spence-Jones is no stranger to fighting for her political life in court. The District 5 commissioner was suspended from officer by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2009 shortly after the start of her second term when she was hit with two charges of felony grand theft and accused of stealing county grant money. Those charges were later dropped, and Spence-Jones returned to the dais.
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A judge later ruled that Spence-Jones would be eligible to run for a third consecutive term, Rev. Richard P. Dunn II, the man who replaced Spence-Jones during her suspension, filed a lawsuit back in April challenging the decision. Today the Third District Court of Appeals upheld an earlier decision that Spence-Jones is in fact not eligible to run again in November.
Dunn and Robert Malone Jr. have filed to run for the seat.