Friday, April 20 , 2018, 10:00 am | Fair 59º


Local News

County Case Against Activist Kate Smith Continued to June

Restraining orders barring her from County Administration Building remains in effect

A restraining order against activist Kate Smith barring her from the Santa Barbara County Administration Building will be in place at least until June, when the issue will be heard in court.

Santa Barbara County filed five petitions for injunction to prohibit violence or threats of violence against employees, which resulted in a temporary restraining order until the matter goes before a judge.

At a scheduled hearing April 20, Smith was joined by several supporters. She considered cross-examining the four employees who filed declarations against her — all of whom were present — but took a continuance so that all of the subpoenaed parties could be in attendance.

Since Smith also subpoenaed Board of Supervisors chairwoman and Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf and county counsel Dennis Marshall, the hearing needs to be scheduled for a Tuesday without a supervisors meeting, which explains the push to June.

One of the five employees who filed declarations, a woman who works in the county executive office as support to the assistant CEO, asked that her case be dismissed, said Victoria Tuttle, who is representing the county counsel’s office. The four remaining employees are the producers of in-house video for the county and administrative assistants to First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, the Board of Supervisors’ main office and the county counsel’s office.

Smith can’t go into the County Administration Building at 105 E. Anapamu St., go within 15 yards of the building or the employees’ residences, or contact the four employees by any means, including by telephone, mail, fax or e-mail.

Incidents mentioned by the employees concern a “course of conduct that would place a reasonable person in fear for his or her safety.”

Smith often attends Board of Supervisors meetings to speak during the public comment period and frequently goes into county offices to meet with or attempt to meet with elected officials or staff, according to court documents.

She had made references to her mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and became emotional in various interactions with the four employees, according to the declarations.

Smith told Noozhawk she sees the cases as a SLAPP: strategic lawsuit against public participation.

No stranger to speaking her mind, Smith consistently calls for educational reforms and references the “educational-politico-industrial complex” and the “school-to-prison pipeline” during public comment at meetings of the Board of Supervisors, the Santa Barbara City Council and the Board of Education, as well as online.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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