Criminal Justice

Lawyer is charged with cyberstalking after allegedly sending harassing text message to club owner

A New Orleans lawyer has been charged with misdemeanor cyberstalking after allegedly sending a harassing text message to an opponent in a battle over noise regulations.

Lawyer Stuart Smith was charged on Tuesday, report the New Orleans Times Picayune and the New Orleans Advocate. An environmental lawyer, Smith donated $1.25 million to Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2008, and the school reciprocated by naming a law clinic after him.

Smith was charged after the chairman of the French Quarter Management District, Robert Watters, filed a complaint with law enforcement about the text message. Smith wanted stricter noise regulations while Watters supported a compromise approach. Watters owns Rick’s Cabaret on Bourbon Street, described on its website as “New Orleans’ finest gentleman’s experience.”

Smith showed the text message to the Times Picayune. “I have had your troubled history investigated,” the Feb. 16 text said. “You have 24 hours to resign from fqmd or it will all be released. If you resign and keep your mouth shut it will not. I am sure your stockholders and partners would like this approach.”

Watters told the New Orleans Advocate he’s not sure what Smith planned to reveal. “I’ve always thought my past was open,” Watters told the publication. “I have no idea what he thought he had.”

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