Clerk candidate says political foe violated order with postcard

2014-05-14T19:00:00Z 2014-05-15T07:52:06Z Clerk candidate says political foe violated order with postcardBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | Porter County Clerk candidate Kathryn Kozuszek has accused a political opponent of violating a protective order when he sent out a "defamatory" postcard shortly before last week's primary election.

Kozuszek said Scott Smith was ordered by the courts to have no direct or indirect contact or communication with her.

Yet he sent out hundreds of postcards depicting a man slapping a woman's buttocks that reads: "Don't get rubbed the wrong way. Re-elect Karen Martin for clerk." The postcard accuses Kozuszek of encouraging a female county employee to sexually batter a young man by groping him.

Kozuszek, who denies the accusation made in the postcard, said she secured the protective order against Smith in February because he was harassing her.

She came into contact with him in her role as the Democratic director at the Porter County Voter Registration Office when Smith attempted to run as a Democrat against Republican Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas in 2011. It later was discovered Smith did not live in the city and had to withdraw from the race.

Kozuszek argues in her petition of contempt that while the postcard is protected speech under the Constitution, it violates the protective order "in that it is intended to deliver a perverted message" to her by having others question her about it.

"Thus the intent and spirit of the Order of Protection was violated," the petition says.

Smith said Wednesday he was never served with a protective order.

"It seems she is simply trying to disparage me because I am accusing her of being vicariously liable for a sex crime that a government employee committed against me twice," he said.

A hearing on the petition is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 27 before Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa.

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