Some of the names dismissed from the recall petition against Mayor LaToya Cantrell were those of cartoon characters. Under Louisiana law, the person who signed the names of Mickey Mouse, Fred Flintstone, and other fictional characters could face criminal charges.
But who would prosecute the case?
"That would be the decision of the district attorney to assert the charges and prosecute those charges," Doug Sunseri, host of WWL's ALL THINGS LEGAL said. "Theoretically, they can. I guess the district attorney will have to decide if he will use his prosecutorial discretion and not pursue it only because there are bigger fish to fry, or he could go after the voters who did that."
Sunseri says if the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office were to pursue the case, it could face an uphill battle.
"If they signed it as 'Donald Duck,' you may have a hard problem identifying which voter signed the petition in that manner unless you have some type of evidence," Sunseri said.
How would the district attorney go about finding evidence if he were to take the case?
"They would start with the witness who signed the petition," Sunseri said, noting that if the cartoon characters' names were signed at a recall event, investigators could interview the workers who presided over the signings.
If those names were signed on a pre-filled petition that was mailed to a voter, prosecutors would have to use another method.
"If they could forensically figure that out, that would be another possibility if they whited it out."
Someone convicted of "knowingly, willfully, or intentionally" used a fictitious name on the recall document could face two years in prison and a $2,000 fine.