May 2007 The infamous "memo to self" written by commissioner Marc Sarnoff where he alleges that Spence-Jones asked for a bribe in exchange for her vote on a project that was going before the commission. This memo ultimately was referred to the State Attorneys Office and it's safe to conclude that the public corruption unit's investigation into Spence-Jones began here.
May 2009 Spence-Jones cleared by the State Attorneys Office of allegations of accepting bribes stemming from two constructions projects and accepting kickbacks during her tenure as an arts coordinator with the city. Afterwords one of the developers who commissioner Sarnoff accused of paying Spence-Jones for her vote sued Sarnoff for defamation (case # 2007-27975-CA-01).I'm sure I've left some critical dates and event out, considering what we've listed though, is there any doubt that someone was trying to keep Spence-Jones out of office no matter what? This brings us to an insightful comment one of our readers left over the weekend...
November 13, 2009 Michelle Spence-Jones arrested for Grand theft charges just one day after being sworn in for her second term as commissioner. Then governor Charlie Crist immediately suspends Spence-Jones and a special election is called in order to find her replacement on the commission. Spence-Jones claims she will sue the governor challenging his authority to suspend her because she wasn't indicted by a grand jury.
January 4, 2010 Spence-Jones files a lawsuit against governor Crist alleging that he did not have the authority to suspend her from her seat on the commission because she was not indicted by a grand jury and asserts that he was undermining the will of the voters who had elected her into office.
January 12, 2010 Spence-Jones wins a special election that was held in order to find a replacement for her vacated seat.
January 14, 2010 Governor Charlie Crist suspends Spence-Jones again from her seat immediately after she's reelected by a landslide.
Late February 2010 The judge hears the case challenging Crist's authority to suspend Spence-Jones since she was charged by the prosecutors rather than through an indictment by grand jury. It's commonly accepted that the judge was going to overturn Crist's suspension of Spence-Jones and reinstate her.
March 2, 2010 Prosecutors interview developer Armando Codina regarding payments allegedly made to Spence-Jones through donations to charities in exchange for her vote on items he had pending before the commission.
March 3, 2010 The very next day a Grand Jury is convened which indicts Spence-Jones for Grand Theft in the second degree.
March 4, 2010 Spence-Jones surrenders herself to face the grand theft charge brought forth by the Grand Jury the day before. Just hours after her surrender governor Crist reaffirms her suspension by indictment making the civil suit against him questioning his authority to suspend her moot.
The question is: Who was behind this political prosecution of Michelle Spence-Jones and got KFR and Scruggs to file the "emergency" indictment right when it was apparent that a judge was going to reinstate her to the city of Miami commission.That's scary as there is incontrovertible proof that someone was hell bent on keeping Spence-Jones out of her commission seat. The question I'm left with is who was that person? Who could be powerful enough to persuade the state attorneys office to bring forth a bogus case in order to have her suspended from her job as a City of Miami commissioner? Who could have the political wherewithal to then have another bogus case thrown together and have an emergency grand jury convene in order to indict her to make sure she was kept from getting her seat back despite the fact that her district just voted her back in? Who could have been behind this nefarious scheme and why was it so important to keep her off the commission?