Miami’s Spence-Jones vows to appeal term-limit ruling

Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, told by a judge that she cannot run for a third term, will appeal the decision, she said Monday after a court hearing.

Spence-Jones had charged that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jorge E. Cueto was biased against her because as a state prosecutor he once investigated her. Cueto bowed out, and Judge Marc Schumacher said he would hear testimony on the bias charge.

But Spence-Jones’s attorneys withdrew their bid to have the court rehear the case. That leaves Cueto’s ruling in place; the commissioner said she would take the matter up to the Third District Court of Appeal.

The court actions are the result of a lawsuit filed in April by the Rev. Richard P. Dunn II, who says Miami City Attorney Julie Bru erred when she ruled Spence-Jones eligible to run for a third time because she did not complete two “full” terms in office.

Spence-Jones missed 21 months of her second term while suspended by the governor as she fought a pair of felony charges brought by the state. She defeated one charge in court, and the other was dropped.

Cueto ruled Spence-Jones was term-limited and can’t run for a third time in November because she qualified and was elected twice — the limit allowed under the city’s charter.