Porter County Clerk
candidate and Democratic Director of the County Voters Registration Office
Kathy Kozuszek has filed a petition of contempt with Porter County Superior
Courts alleging a political mailer is a violation of a protective order she
has against its creator, Scott Smith.
Smith, on the other
hand, contests that he is the victim of bullying by Kozuszek and others in
the Porter County Democrat Party.
According to the
petition filed May 8, Scott Smith mailed out “hundreds of defamatory
postcards to voters in Porter County, disparaging Kathryn Kozuszek and
thereby attempting to make unlawful indirect contact with (Kozuszek).”
Judge William Alexa set a hearing for the petition at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May
show that in February Alexa granted a protection order against Smith after
Kozuszek complained of recieving harassing phone calls from him. Under
Alexa’s order, Smith is prohibited from having any direct or indirect
communication with Kozuszek.
Submitted with the
petition is a photocopy of the postcard mailed to Democrat voters depicting
a drawn image of a man reaching towards a woman’s buttocks with the
phrasing: “Don’t Get Rubbed The Wrong Way. Re-Elect Karen Martin For Clerk.”
The postcard purports Kozuszek encouraged a county employee to “sexually
batter a young man.”
Smith is the listed
chairman for the so-called “Northwest Indiana Political Action Committee”
whose website also featured an image of the postcard.
Smith wrote on his
postcards that Kozuszek “viciously groped” him and that the mailer had not
been authorized by County Clerk Karen Martin. Kozuszek is challenging Martin
in November’s general elections.
Kozuzek told the
Chesterton Tribune Smith’s accusations are untrue while Smith is adamant
he was the victim of sexual battery and that Kozuszek is “viciously liable.”
Kozuzsek says she
met with Smith at a public restaurant in May 2011 when he was seeking to run
against incumbent Jon Costas in the Valparaiso mayoral race that year and
that he asked for Porter County Democrats’ “blessing” to run. Kozuszek is
the vice-chair for the party.
Smith couldn’t run
in the race, Koszuszek told him, because he was living in Lowell at the
In Smith’s version
of the story, a Porter County government employee showed up at the
restaurant on behalf of Kozuszek, dumped hot coffee on his lap and started
“groping” him with a towel.
Kozuszek asks that,
given that the alleged incident happened in a public setting, “Wouldn’t
somebody at the restaurant have said something if that had happened?” She
said no employee was ever present during the meeting.
“I would be willing
to say it under a lie-detector test,” Kozuszek said.
Kozuszek said Smith
made “repeated calls of harassment” to her office after she blocked him from
her Facebook page and notified the sheriff’s police, which led to the
Smith said the
order was never served to him and it might have been because he was
out-of-state at the time it was filed. He said he does not believe he is a
threat to Kozuszek’s safety and that the word harassment which she uses does
not apply to an activity allowed under state law. Smith also questions the
ethics of Alexa presiding over the hearing since he is a Democrat and a
friend to Kozuszek.
political affiliation is not grounds for judges to recuse themselves and she
believes there is no conflict of interest.
The strife between
Kozuszek and Smith came to light publically last week after Porter County
Republican Party Chair Michael Simpson issued a press release disavowing any
Republican Party ties to the postcard. Simpson called Smith’s mailers
“reprehensible” and an example of “gutter politics.” Smith has admitted them
to be “smear ads.”
Kozuszek said she
was not told beforehand about the GOP release and, given the volatile
situation, wished to keep the p