Ban opponent calls indictment 'politically motivated'

Mark McGonigal was a leader in the 'Can the Ban' movement in New Braunfels

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SEGUIN, Texas - A leader in the movement opposing a ban on cans on rivers in New Braunfels turned himself into authorities in Guadalupe County Thursday after he was indicted on a charge of aggravated perjury.

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Mark McGonigal was indicted last week by a grand jury for allegedly lying about a prior conviction on a form to legally change his name. 

McGonigal said he was arrested in 1988 in Brazoria County, but received deferred adjudication.  Both he and his attorney Bobby Barrera say that is not a conviction.

Barrera and McGonigal said the indictment was politically motivated.

"This petition was presented to the Guadalupe County District Attorney by the Comal County District Attorney by the Comal County people, especially the New Braunfels Police Department, which basically went on a witch hunt against Mark to find something they could use to ruin his good name and to trash him as a result of the exercise of free speech," Barrera said.

McGonigal was one of the leaders of the "Can the Ban" movement.  The movement opposed a ban imposed by the city to prohibit aluminum cans on the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers in New Braunfels.  The ban was approved by voters in November.

Captain John McDonald with the New Braunfels Police Department said the department discovered the information about the deferred adjudication while reviewing names on petitions to put the ban up for a vote.  McDonald said since the form was filed in Guadalupe County, they passed the information on to district attorney there to investigate.


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