Suspended Miami City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones has been indicted on a new charge: bribery.
Spence-Jones on Wednesday was indicted for allegedly taking $25,000 in connection with her support for a development on Brickell Avenue in Miami.
Spence-Jones was also indicted Wednesday on a grand theft charge in connection with an earlier case involving $50,000 in county funds that she allegedly misappropriated.
“We’re just absolutely devoted to root out public corruption wherever we can find it,’’ Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle said on Wednesday.
Fernandez-Rundle also said that her office expects Spence-Jones to surrender to authorities on the new charges.
Prosecutors say Spence-Jones solicited about $25,000 for her vote in support of a request from developers for an extension of the name of Brickell Avenue further north along Southeast Second Avenue in downtown Miami. The name change could have added more prestige to an office and residential complex in that area.
Prosecutors also say the $25,000 was deposited into an account accessible to Spence-Jones.
The new charges added more intrigue to Spence-Jones’ already considerable legal battles.
Gov. Charlie Crist suspended Spence-Jones from the Miami City Commission after she was charged with grand theft in November. He suspended her again on Jan. 14, after she was re-elected in a special election on Jan. 12.
In the Jan. 12 special election, Spence-Jones received more than 53 percent of the vote and defeated eight other candidates. Prior to Crist’s first suspension, Spence-Jones was re-elected on Nov. 3 with nearly 83 percent of the vote.
In November, days after Spence-Jones was re-elected the first time, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office charged her with one count of second-degree grand theft, a felony. She is accused of steering two county contracts totaling $50,000 to a company she and family members owned, and spending the money for personal use. One of the new indictments from the grand jury on Wednesday is tied to that case.
Pictured above is Michelle Spence-Jones.