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After North Miami mayor's arrest, new motion filed in lawsuit challenging her residency

@LDixon_3

As fallout continues from North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau’s indictment and suspension from office, former rival Kevin Burns is again asking a judge to expedite ruling in a complaint he filed last June over Tondreau’s residency.

He also said he would consider running for mayor in the special election that the city charter requires, but he hopes the court takes action before then.

“I am positively considering running, but we need to have this issue with the case resolved,” Burns said.

Burns’s lawyers filed a motion Wednesday asking for a judgment and opinion in the case. Burns alleged that Tondreau did not live in the city for a year, as required.

The motion also argues that the special election is void because, although Tondreau was suspended by Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday, the office is not actually vacant.

“The council should not call for a special election because the office of mayor is not vacant and the entitlement to the office is also in dispute,” the motion reads.

A judge dismissed the lawsuit last September, but Burns appealed and no action has been taken since December.

The City Council is expected to make a final decision on the election process at its next meeting, but Burns said that the process will be a waste if a judge rules in his favor.

“If that current mayor was never supposed to be there, then what happens?” Burns said.

If the court rules that Tondreau was ineligible, the motion requests that Burns be awarded the mayorship. Burns is also open to a runoff against Smith Joseph, who finished third in the election.

“You’ve heard the case you’ve had it in front of you, it’s imperative that you make a decision,” Burns said.

--LANCE DIXON

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