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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

FEBRUARY 4, 2013

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN  POETRY & PROSE
THE DEFENDANTS COME OUT SWINGING FOR THE FENCE
A CRESPO-GRAM EXCLUSIVE
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Until last Thursday, the only documents I had to write about in the Michelle Spence-Jones, ‘They did me wrong,’ lawsuit was her Complaint.  The complaint floated like a butterfly and held the promise of stinging like a bee.


As I wrote after first reading it, “It’s a pretty amazing document.  The Complaint reads more like the outline for a TV Mini-Series than a lawsuit, and like all good drama, there are hints that there will be plenty of plot twists before the last commercial pops up on the screen.”


Well, the first major plot twist has come along in way of responses to this TV mini-series by Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, Richard Scruggs and Robert Fielder, who all filed Motions To Dismiss.  Jose Quinon, on behalf of Mayor Tomas Regalado received an extension to file his response until March 4th.


Like all good plot twists, the responses read like prose to Spence-Jones poetry, and pretty good prose at that  This should not be a surprise given the high caliber legal talent that Fernandez-Rundle, Scruggs and Fiedler have managed to get to defend themselves.


I would estimate that somebody’s going to be paying about $100,000 for the legal work so far.  That somebody’s is probably going to end up being the taxpayers, because in cases like this the peanut gallery is expected to pay for the entertainment, whether the decide to sit in the bleachers or not.


It’s always tough going after prosecutors for misbehavior, because  over time prosecutors have managed to protect themselves by getting legislation and legal opinions that make them all but bullet proof.


That doesn’t mean that they can’t be tagged for doing bad, but to get them you got to have really good grounds, and really good lawyers.


And within the next couple months we’ll get the answers to those observations when all of the Motions To Dismiss are heard.


One of the interesting things that improves the Defendants case is that although Spence-Jones was acquitted in one case, and the charges dismissed in the other, one individual did actually get convicted as a result of these cases, and that was Pastor Gaston Smith.


Towards the end of Richard Scrugg’s Motion To Dismiss, in Exhibit B, on page 10 of the Close-Out Memo in Case No. F09-37102, the following appears:

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In a Miami New Times article in August of 2009, the Pastor responded to a question by Scruggs in a 2007 interview as to whether he felt that Spence-Jones had “earned” the $8000, that she allegedly asked for by answering, “Uh, in hindsight, I’d say no.”


Smith went on to add, “Now that I’ve had the chance to think through this and look at the documents,” he said, “I feel completely violated...It’s almost like date rape.” 


It becomes hard to tag a prosecutor with engaging in a bad faith prosecution when at least one individual is convicted of a crime associated with the alleged crimes of the elected official, and on the other hand, it’s hard to completely claim immunity from a bad faith prosecution if you convict someone of paying off an elected official, without also being able to convict the elected official for taking the payoff.


It’s little things like that that will make this case so interesting to watch, because unlike Miami-Dade Circuit Court where the first thing most insiders do is to go and check on who the judge’s campaign manager was,  in federal court, where the the judges are appointed and not not susceptible to the alleged claims of ex parte communications that take place between Circuit Court judges and their campaign managers, there’s a better chance of decisions being made on the law.  Plus Federal judges tend to be smarter and more experienced then some of the bozos who end up on the Circuit Court.


All in all, from this point on it becomes a real measure of just how smart, and how much real evidence Spence-Jones’s lawyers have against Fernandez-Rundle, Regalado and the other two defendants.


Writing a legal complaint that reads like an outline for a TV series is one thing, going into a courtroom and bringing that outline to life with witnesses and evidence is another, and if Spence-Jones’s lawyers manage to get past the Motions To Dismiss, then I going to go out and buy stock in Orville Redenbacher, because this is going to be a 5 Popcorn Show.


For any of you who have time to spare and are interested in the legal arguments raised by the Defendants, here are all of the responses, along with Regalado’s Motion For A Continuance.

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