An arraignment for North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau, a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) now facing federal criminal charges, is scheduled one week from tomorrow in federal court, according to a report by WFOR, the local CBS affiliate in Miami.
Mayor Tondreau, who has been suspended from office by Gov. Rick Scott, faces charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to the station and the Miami Herald. She has been released on bond, news agencies report. The charges related to allegations of fraud in getting loans on 20 properties between 2005 and 2008 in South Florida, CBS4 reported.
Tondreau is not the first member of the anti-gun MAIG to land in legal hot water. The Second Amendment Foundation publicized the problems of several other members of billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s group, which has also seen a lot of defections by mayors who discovered the group’s main goal is not to disarm criminals, but law-abiding citizens.
The embattled North Miami mayor, who should be considered innocent until proven guilty, told supporters she would beat the charges, the Miami Herald reported. A smiling Mayor Tondreau maintained her innocence in a brief comment broadcast by WTVJ, the local NBC affiliate, which also provided a copy of the indictment online.
Bloomberg formed MAIG in April 2006 with former Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Among the charter members was former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, who unsuccessfully tried to ban firearms in city park facilities and was sued by SAF, the National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Washington Arms Collectors and five private citizens in a case that ultimately strengthened Washington’s model state preemption law.
There have been some embarrassing criminal misadventures involving members of the anti-gun organization. Members have been convicted of such crimes as perjury, bribery, fraud, money laundering, extortion, tax fraud, embezzlement, attempted child molestation, child pornography and various lesser crimes.
MAIG was rolled into Bloomberg’s $50 million so-called “grassroots” political effort dubbed “Everytown for Gun Safety,” along with Moms Demand Action, earlier this year. Still, one can see the cities and towns represented in the gun control lobbying group, though the names of mayors no longer appear.
MAIG now claims 1,000 members, while the group does not acknowledge the dozens of city leaders who have left. Earlier this year, Republican Mayor John Tkazyik of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. publicly announced his departure by expressing the belief that MAIG’s “ultimate goal is to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens,” the IJReview reported.
“I’m no longer a member of MAIG,” Mayor Tkazyik said three months ago. “Why? Just as Ronald Reagan said of the Democratic Party, it left me. MAIG became a vehicle for Bloomberg to promote his personal gun-control agenda — violating the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens and taking resources away from initiatives that could actually work to protect our neighborhoods and save precious lives.”
Early last month, Danbury, Conn. Mayor Mark Boughton quit the group as well. He was quoted by the CT Mirror noting, “As a member of the Connecticut General Assembly, I was a strong supporter of the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen in Connecticut. This remains my position today.”
Boughton is one of three candidates who will vie for a run at the governorship this fall. The primary will be held Aug. 12.