Cr seeks order over relentless ‘satirist’

BAYSWATER councillor Catherine Ehrhardt has applied for a misconduct restraining order against local resident James Kozak over a years-long campaign targeting her.

Cr Ehrhardt told the court her family felt unsafe and she was seeking an order that Mr Kozak not approach her, her children or their home. She also wants hundreds of social media posts about her removed.

Cr Ehrhardt describes Mr Kozak’s behaviour as harassment and intimidation, while he says he is exercising his right to be satirical and comment on political matters.

Cr Ehrhardt’s statement to the court complained about:

• Hundreds of social media posts, including claims she was corrupt and to blame for many social ills around Maylands;

• Mr Kozak posting an image of firearms in a local gunstore after being banned from one social media site for his posts about Cr Ehrhardt. It was accompanied by the text: “Since I am blocked on the other page by the Admin, and can no longer share these photos of mine, here is a couple just for entertainment”;

• Following Cr Ehrhardt and taking photos of her in public; and,

• Posting her address online.

Cr Ehrhardt stated Mr Kozak had never attempted to contact her in her capacity as an elected member to raise local issues with her.

At the first hearing at Midland magistrates court on November 15 Mr Kozak objected to the MRO, and the court will hear the case on January 13 and decide whether to make orders. 

Mr Kozak argued the matter should be held in a higher court, contending it should be heard as a defamation case rather than an MRO, but the magistrate declined.

Mr Kozak also argued for a change of venue as Perth magistrates court was easier for him and his witnesses to travel to, but this was also refused. 

by DAVID BELL

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