Brad Toft's 5th District Senate campaign office released an amended statement Friday evening on the outcome of an anti-harrassment suit against Kelly Spratt, a Sammamish resident and former co-worker of Toft's:
Today Judge Peter Nault of the King County District Court secured from the bench an agreement from Ms. Kelly Spratt that she would discontinue her personal contact with me and my family.
Judge Nault measured Ms. Spratt's First Amendment rights to engage in political speech against my right as a citizen to be protected against harassing behavior. He determined that Ms. Spratt's assurance that she would quit contacting me struck the appropriate balance between these interests.
I feel vindicated in my attempts to protect my family from additional harassment from Ms. Spratt. Now, it has the backing of a court agreement. Jill and I are happy to be putting this matter to rest and focusing on the needs of Washington State.
A more strongly worded statement was issued shortly after the ruling via Facebook and press release. Toft told Patch he hadn't had an opportunity to review the original statement before it was sent and subsequently and the amended statement more closely reflects his views on the case. The new statement was sent in a newsletter to Toft's supporters later that day and posted on the campaign's Facebook group at 6:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28.
Spratt's attorney, Janet Irons, sent additional comment on the case to Patch via email:
It is unfortunate Mr. Toft is mischaracterizing the court proceedings in an effort to continue his attack on Ms. Spratt. The Judge quite clearly expressed, repeatedly, that Ms. Spratt was exercising her First Amendment rights by challenging Mr. Toft's fitness for office, and that the Court would not restrict her right to do so. Indeed, contrary to Mr. Toft's rendition, the only time the Court spoke to Ms. Spratt was to confirm her long held intentions to contact Mr. Toft only in public forms, expressed in a letter written several weeks earlier. Ms. Spratt responded with a very clear and confident "certainly", not humbly as stated in Mr. Toft's creative rendition of the event. In contrast the Judge addressed Mr. Toft repeatedly and indicated people who voluntarily thrust themselves into public light will be criticized and Mr. Toft needs to, in the word of the Judge, "grow thicker skin." At no time was Mr. Toft given the opportunity to speak, as the Judge didn't deem it necessary to even take testimony given the nature of the petition and of Ms. Spratt's action.
The Judge did not indicate that he was considering entering an order against Ms. Spratt - let alone restraining himself from doing so due to possible stigmatization of Ms. Spratt. The Judge specifically said he was denying the petition outright, not entering even a conditional order, as it was unnecessary under the circumstances. Mr. Toft's statement to the contrary is blatantly false.
Toft stated in the filing that he has received unsolicited and unwanted communication from Spratt since December and that he was seeking to bar her from contacting him or his wife Jill directly via social media, email, telephone calls, or going to his home.