City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones is looking for vindication at the expense of the
city's top law enforcement official. According to a Feb. 14 letter
her civil attorney sent Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Spence-Jones is preparing to sue the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office for allegedly violating her civil rights were when she was
being prosecuted in two separate public corruption cases.
To show she's not playing,
Spence-Jones retained a New York City law firm that represents one of
three former Duke University lacrosse players who were wrongfully
accused of raping a stripper in 2006 and who are now suing cops in Durham, N.C.
Reached Monday afternoon, Spence-Jones declined comment. A spokesman for Rundle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last year, Spence-Jones was acquitted at trial on charges that she had solicited a $25,000 bribe from prominent developer Armando Codina.
Five months later, state prosecutors dropped separate grand theft charges against Spence-Jones after the case fell apart. In both cases, prosecutor Richard Scruggs' star witnesses, Codina, and Spence-Jones former mentor, former commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler, retracted testimony that implicated Spence-Jones. Codina and Carey-Shuler also accused Scruggs of misleading them into believing the elected official from Liberty City had committed a crime.
Spence-Jones was twice suspended from office and spent close to two years fighting the state attorney's office. In her letter to Rundle, Spence-Jones claims she "sustained damages as a result of prosecutorial and investigatory misconduct, compelled self-incrimination, unlawful and unreasonable arrests."
The commissioner also alleges the state attorney's office repeatedly defamed her and her criminal defense lawyer, Peter Raben. She specifically notes the close-out memo in the grand theft case in which Scruggs alleges Spence-Jones and Raben planted the documents that helped exonerate her in a box with other records from the investigation.
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