Miami Dade County Community Forum

Monday, November 23, 2009

The State Attorney, What could she have done? By Fran Bohnsack

State Attorney Katherine Rundle's staff had a hard decision to make: whether to arrest Commissioner Spence-Jones BEFORE or AFTER the election and if after, how long after? And could they also have held off on charging and making a deal with Commissioner Angel Gonzalez?

A critical error was that the City of Miami Commission was left without a quorum the way the State Attorney's office did it. If Rundle had waited on the Gonzalez case, the Commission could have made an appointment for the Spence-Jones seat, putting off the pending special election till after her trial. The way it was forced on the City, by Rundle's office, because of the City's charter it will be costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars they don't have, and Spence-Jones, who is running again, will probably be reelected. She might have to be taken out for a second time if she is convicted and a third special election held. If there had been an appointment, with Angel Gonzalez voting, and Spence-Jones was cleared, she would just go back to the seat and the appointment would vacate. Or, if Spence-Jones had been charged 2 weeks later, the new Commissioners would have made a quorum.

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