Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The states bribery trial against Michelle Spence-Jones STINKS! The Prosecution rests and a few words about our soon to be recalled Mayor, Carlos Alvarez.


We learned through our commenters and our colleagues over at Investigation Miami that the prosecution rests today in the suspended City of Miami commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones bribery trial. The state through prosecutor Richard Scruggs did it's best to convince Judge Rosa Rodriguez and the jury that Mrs. Spence-Jones was indeed guilty of taking a bribe from two prominent developers in exchange for her vote on an item that was to come before the commission. Unfortunately for the state, the case they presented against Spence-Jones is so weak that the Judge went so far as to remark...
"I’m finding it difficult to understand the state’s theory in all this. What was the corrupt intent? I want to know that...Ultimately, the money, whether her fingerprints are there or not, the money did not go to her personally,"
You're trying a bribery case and you can't prove the alleged bribe went to the person you've charged?! Is there any doubt considering the weak case the states put up that the jury is going to find Spence-Jones not guilty?

Regardless of her guilt or innocence, the prosecutor in this case has done such a piss poor job in putting this case together that there is no way a jury is going to come back with a guilty verdict. As we discussed in the past, the state obtained the most damaging testimony against the commissioner through misrepresenting crucial facts to a key witness in order to elicit the testimony they needed to indict Spence-Jones, what's worse is that the same prosecutor did the exact same thing with a key witness against Spence-Jones on her other criminal case. Is this an isolated case of a rogue prosecutor who engages in all sorts of prosecutorial misconduct in order to win a convictions by any means necessary or is this a disturbing pattern of behavior that is rampant at the State Attorneys Office? Let's not forget that what ASA Scruggs has done throughout both Spence-Jones prosecutions is no different than what his colleague ASA Bill Kostrzewski has done throughout one of the mortgage fraud prosecutions that we've discussed at length. After hearing of the prosecutors misdeeds, why hasn't the state attorneys office taken some sort of action against them? Why are these morally and ethically bankrupt prosecutors allowed to continue practicing and destroying peoples lives with these cases based on total bullshit? You would think that once the prosecutor discovered that the testimony that his case was based on was fundementally flawed that he would have immediately dropped the charges, but no, instead he redoubled his efforts to bring in a guilty verdict. Whenever I see this kind of behavior from a prosecutor, I'm always reminded of this quote from the author of the Justice Building blog...
"Trying a defendant that a prosecutor knows is innocent, or even bringing to trial a person that the prosecutor knows there is not sufficient evidence to justify a conviction is an offense so odious to the American system of justice that prosecutors who engage in such abuse should be referred to the bar for disbarment. The supervisors who approve of such conduct should be disbarred as well."
I couldn't have said it better myself. We can only hope that both the state attorneys office and the Florida Bar take action against the prosecutor once this case is over as well as address the arrest warrant from Costa Rica for Mr. Scruggs once and for all.

Now, moving on to the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Alvarez. I listened to Mr. Alvarez try to defend himself against the recall campaign on a radio talk show today, the most interesting defense he brought up was that this was the only time a politician was being recalled that wasn't indicted or being accused of corruption or any other illegal acts. He went so far as to say that the bankers who were responsible for the real estate bubble and subsequent economic meltdown have gone unpunished while he's being recalled for doing nothing wrong! I have a huge problem with this proposition, forget about the fact that Alvarez and his cronies blew tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers money, forget about the fact that despite the worst economic conditions since the great depression Mr. Alvarez still gave record pay increases to his cronies and completely disregard the fact that he increased property taxes. Take this "bankers got away while I'm being recalled" proposition for a moment, since Mr. Alvarez seems to think the bankers got away with causing the real estate and economic meltdown, why the hell didn't he do something about it? Does anyone remember the Mayor's heralded "Mortgage Fraud Task Force"? If Mr. Alvarez was so concerned with "bankers getting away", why didn't he focus his task force on investigating and prosecuting the bankers that were creating the financial instruments that spawned the rampant real estate and mortgage fraud throughout our county? What did we get instead? Low level prosecutions of straw buyers and mortgage brokers through a series of bullshit cases put together by cops who couldn't even execute their own mortgages properly let alone correctly investigate a complicated mortgage fraud case. Mr. Alvarez, bankers got a way with destroying our economy and real estate markets because of people like you who were either asleep at the switch or just didn't give a shit, people who were two busy basking in the glory of self aggrandizing press releases and media appearances that boosted their own image yet did nothing to fight the epidemic that was destroying or economy.

See ya later Carlos, don't let the door hit you in the ass...


  1. You should go on the comments page from the Miami Herald story. You made the point the they were "moderating" comments, well they have no problem leaving up a comment where some guy "Schnitt" calls for violence.

    Not only does the prosecutor stink, but the Miami Herald is clearly the worst rag in the State. They clearly themselves don't know right from wrong.

    God help the people of Miami, when the guilty run free and the innocent are targeted by prosecutors and newspapers alike.

  2. As much as I lo e your blogs I think the picture you've chosen is very inappropriate and crude. I wish you change for something else. It takes away from the point you are trying to get across.

    Down with mayor Alvarez!

  3. Wow. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704164204576203242339123856.html

  4. 88% voted to Recall Carlos Alvarez. Voters showed a passion to remove Alvarez for his decision to raise taxes, give raises to his supporters and force the County and City to spend over $3.5 BILLION on the Marlins Stadium and Garage.

    Spence-Jones often sold her vote. It is difficult to prove.