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Judge tosses federal lawsuit by 'disgruntled' ex-Miami city commissioner against political foes

@PatriciaMazzei

A Miami federal judge on Friday slapped down a lawsuit in which former City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones accused her political enemies of conspiring to wreck her career.

In a blistering, 64-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks dismissed Spence-Jones’ complaint against Mayor Tomás Regalado, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle and two assistants as a “political manifesto” that was “full of political intrigue” but lacking in legal merit.

“It is full of self-serving hyperbole, personal attacks, and formulaic, implausible conclusions,” the judge wrote.

He called Spence-Jones, who was termed out of office last month, a “disgruntled” politician whose attempt to settle political scores through the justice system highlighted why public-corruption cases are so difficult to prosecute.

“The decision whether or not to bring charges or, as happened in this case, to dismiss charges when a case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt must be made without regard to personal legal consequences,” Middlebrooks ruled. “And the unseemly conduct involved in this case unquestionably deserved the prosecutors’ attention.”

This is a developing story. Read more here.

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