LAFAYETTE, La. (The Advertiser)- Lafayette Consolidated Government is suing the man who created fake ANTIFA social media events, claiming the hoaxes have cost the city “considerable sums of money.”
The lawsuit, filed in the 15th Judicial District in Lafayette, alleges John Merrifield cost the city-parish government money when he created two fake Facebook events that said ANTIFA would show up in the city’s high-end River Ranch community and the Acadiana Mall.
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages of less than $75,000, The Advertiser reported.
“I think he should bear the brunt of some of the costs, if not all of the costs, that his actions cost the taxpayers,” Mayor-President Josh Guillory said on his Thursday morning radio show.
“We will always take these threats seriously, but we’re not just going to always respond and say, ‘OK, thank you. Let us pay all this overtime from the taxpayers.’ Heck no. We will stop at no measure to recoup the costs that the taxpayers have to pay for this kind of stuff,” Guillory said.
Merrifield, who lives in New York but grew up in Lafayette, said he consulted legal counsel and that his outlook is optimistic.
“Fool you once, shame on me. Fool you twice, shame on you,” he told The Advertiser. “I’m not going to apologize to the citizens of Lafayette who were gullible enough to fall for a satire event created by a comedy meme page run by a satirist and comedian twice.”