Michelle Spence-Jones' term limit lawsuit heard again

Richard Dunn sued Miami commissioner over city charter

MIAMI - A second Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge began hearing city of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones' term limit lawsuit on Wednesday.

Judge Marc Schumacher scheduled another hearing in three weeks. He is hearing the case after Judge Jorge Cueto, who was a prosecutor in Spence-Jones' criminal case, recused himself from the lawsuit.

"I think the threshold issue is, for us, the court setting a hearing where we can fully argue this case again," said Bruce Rogow, Spence-Jones' attorney. "Although, quite honestly, I am prepared to argue at any time."

Cueto previously issued the opinion that Spence-Jones is term-limited and unable to run.

"If in fact Miss Spence-Jones truly believes that Judge Cueto was biased, we'll open up an evidentiary hearing on that limited matter," said Schumacher.

Reverend and twice-appointed former Miami Commissioner Richard Dunn brought the legal question to court, challenging her candidacy as term limited.

Spence-Jones argued that she was out of office for almost two years of her terms, suspended by then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist while she fought criminal charges. She was acquitted by a jury in one of the cases; the second case was dropped by prosecutors.

Miami's City Charter states: "No mayor or commissioner elected and qualified for two consecutive full terms shall be eligible for reelection in the next succeeding term."

"Anyone with minimal intelligence, minimal desire to do what is right, minimal interpretation of the law, minimal fairness would absolutely come to the same conclusion that she's term limited," said Dunn.

"We are looking forward to seeing it through to the end," said Rogow.

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