Runner-Up Candidate Files Lawsuit To Get New North Miami Mayor Tossed Out of Office

Lucie Tondreau didn't live in the city for at least one year before the election, Kevin Burns alleges

By Ari Odzer
|  Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013  |  Updated 5:58 AM EDT
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Former North Miami mayor Kevin Burns, who was defeated by Lucie Tondreau in a runoff election earlier this month, wants the new mayor tossed out of office. He filed a lawsuit Tuesday, alleging that Tondreau did not live in North Miami for at least one year before the election, as the city's law requires. Tondreau said she didn't know anything about the lawsuit and had no comment.

Former North Miami mayor Kevin Burns, who was defeated by Lucie Tondreau in a runoff election earlier this month, wants the new mayor tossed out of office. He filed a lawsuit Tuesday, alleging that Tondreau did not live in North Miami for at least one year before the election, as the city's law requires. Tondreau said she didn't know anything about the lawsuit and had no comment.

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Former North Miami mayor Kevin Burns made it to a runoff against Lucie Tondreau in his bid to return to office, but the voters chose Tondreau. She won the election earlier this month and was sworn in as mayor.

"We believe that if you plan on leading the city you should at least live in the city," Burns said Tuesday, sitting with his campaign manager and his lawyer.

Now Burns wants Tondreau tossed out of office. He filed a lawsuit Tuesday, alleging that Tondreau did not live in North Miami for at least one year before the election, as the city's law requires.

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"This suit is actually community driven," Burns said. "I had numerous people saying, everybody knows that she doesn't live in the city."

Burns says he realizes his lawsuit may appear to be sour grapes, since he lost to Tondreau head to head in the runoff.

"Absolutely," Burns said. "We're not contesting the votes, but she should not have even been on the ballot because her qualifying papers were not what was required by city law."

NBC 6 caught up to the newly elected mayor at City Hall and asked her about the lawsuit.

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"Well, this is the first I heard about it, I don't know anything about it, I've not been served, I have no comments," Tondreau said.

Burns said this is not a case of him trying to use a technicality to get back into power.

"Absolutely not, it's the right thing to do, it's raising an issue that sadly, needs to be raised,” he said.

Burns claims Tondreau's case is just one of what he calls an epidemic of candidates running for office in Miami-Dade County who don't live where they're supposed to live to run for those offices.

A circuit judge will decide if his lawsuit has any merit. If he wins, Burns believes he will become mayor of North Miami once again.

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