From the Reid Falconer for Senate campaign
State Rep. Reid Falconer has filed a lawsuit seeking to identify an anonymous online poster who made false claims against him.
Falconer has asked St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s office to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the postings and text messages on charges of stalking and cyber-harassment. The online poster claimed a woman had filed a criminal complaint against Falconer with Southeastern Louisiana University police.
Falconer, R-Madisonville, filed the lawsuit Friday, seeking information from TigerDroppings.com of Texas, an LSU fan site that also has a discussion page for politics. Theresa Beaubouef of Tangipahoa Parish, the woman named in the postings, joined Falconer in bringing the lawsuit.
“It is a shame that politics has come to this, where people have spread outright lies not only about me but about another innocent person,” said Falconer, who is running for state Senate in the Nov. 16 election. “This has been very difficult for me and my family. These tactics are offensive and unlawful, and I am going to ensure that those responsible are exposed for their despicable acts.”
Beaubouef, in a sworn affidavit in the suit, said, “I don’t appreciate people throwing my name out there to try and harm someone. It is a little disturbing to say the least.”
According to the suit, someone using the screen name “LAGOPMEMBER” posted false and defamatory statements on TigerDroppings, stating Beaubouef had filed a complaint against Falconer with SLU Police.
A Twitter commenter using the identical screen name posted similar defamatory information.
Additionally, a Facebook user posting under the name “Max Henderson” posted a photo of Falconer with the derogatory caption: “The face you make when someone asks you how you know Teresa Beaubouef.” Henderson commented under the photo that Beaubouef “might have filed a complaint with the Southeastern Police over Reid.”
Falconer taught as an adjunct faculty member from 2010-2015 at SLU, where Beaubouef was a tenured professor.
Beaubouef and Falconer have never met.
The false statements have harmed Falconer personally by causing him public humiliation and damaging his reputation, and have harmed his reputation as a candidate for state Senate, the suit says.
The Falconer campaign’s request for a criminal investigation says the online comments began after an attorney for Patrick McMath, Reid’s election opponent, filed an Aug. 14 public records request with SLU, seeking information related to Falconer’s employment at the university, including any complaints or charges against Falconer.
SLU President John Crain told attorneys for Patrick McMath that no such complaints existed.
Nonetheless, on Sept. 13, a man believed to be associated with the McMath campaign visited SLU, asking for a copy of the complaint supposedly filed by Beaubouef, according to the Falconer campaign’s letter to the district attorney. Falconer’s attorney has obtained video surveillance footage of the man, who identified himself to university officials only as “Matt.”
University officials noted that “Matt’s” phone number was the same number that had been provided by the attorneys for Patrick McMath.
A court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 22 at 9 a.m. before Judge Steven Kirkland in the 334th District Court in Houston.