- Faith & Family
Miami Times staff report
The Rev. Richard P. Dunn II recently filed a lawsuit against City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones and believes she is ineligible for reelection. In the suit he says that the District 5 commissioner should not be allowed to run again because she has already been financially compensated for two terms in office. But in 2011, Miami City Attorney Julie O. Bru gave her opinion which supports Spence-Jones’s 2013 reelection plan.
Bru concluded that Spence-Jones could seek reelection because she did not serve “two full consecutive terms” as the City charter allows. Bru was asked to reaffirm her 2011 opinion at a January city commission meeting, which she did.
Spence-Jones says that the “issue is not compensation but service.”
She was reelected for a second time in 2009 but missed almost half of that term while under suspension and facing several felony charges. She was acquitted of the first charge, bribery, while prosecutors dropped a second charge of grand-theft.
Dunn’s suit hinges on the back pay and benefits that Spence-Jones received when she returned to the city commission dais. He argues that because she was paid for two full terms, she should be unable to run for a third.
Dunn was tapped as Spence-Jones’s replacement when she was removed from office four years ago and like her, he has filed to run for the city commission in the upcoming election.