NOFD district chief accused of stalking woman - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

NOFD district chief accused of stalking woman

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) A high-ranking member of the New OrleansFire Department is facing allegations he stalked a local woman. He was incourt Monday morning to answer the charge.

The New Orleans Police Department said Chief Chris Mickal, 58, wasarrested Friday on one count of stalking after he allegedly stalked the woman and sent her a sexually explicit letter. The NOPD said during the course of theinvestigation detectives identified Mickal as the author of the letter. 

Mickal pleaded not guilty in Orleans Parish Municipal Court Monday.
 
"It can be deemed as a misdemeanor, but one of those misdemeanors thatcarries mandatory jail time," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

Investigators said they obtained a search warrant and confiscatedevidence from Mickal's home.

"That's a paper trail," Raspanti said. "It wasn't a real smart thing to do - especially aguy who's in the position he's in."

FOX 8 obtained the gist of the incident report from court. In it, the arresting officer wrote that Mickal not only sent the letter withsexually explicit comments, but also showed up at several locations where thealleged victim was working. The gist also stated that Mickal provided anaudio taped statement confirming that he did send the letter.
 
"I think it was very easy for them to track him down," Raspanti said. "I think that theyfeel like they have a very good case because they can prove that it was him, soI think that at the end of the day that we're going to have some sort of convictionhere."

Even though the case against Mickal is currently in MunicipalCourt, it could be transferred to Criminal Court.
 
"It's in Municipal Court for now, which is a little more casual in the waythey do things for a lack of a better term, but I think we should keep an eyeout for whether or not this case gets bumped up to felony court, depending onthe facts," said Raspanti.

The fire department issued a statement saying Mickalhad been reassigned to administrative duty effective immediately pending theoutcome of the case.

The district attorney's office said it is screening the case and moving forward with prosecuting the misdemeanor charge. Another hearing is set for April 28.

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