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Prosecutors drop case against suspended Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones

Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped a grand theft charge against suspended Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, paving the way for her return to City Hall.

The dramatic decision comes five months after Spence-Jones, in an unrelated prosecution, was acquitted at trial on charges that she had solicited a $25,000 bribe from a prominent developer.

The city of Miami charter allows for Spence-Jones’ immediate return to elected office – and for her to collect nearly two years’ of back salary and benefits. That means Miami Commissioner Richard P. Dunn II, who has represented District 5 since her removal, will be out.

The action in the grand theft case was not a surprise after a key witness, former Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler, changed her testimony in the past year, hobbling the prosecution’s theory.

Developing story by David Ovalle and Charles Rabin here.