A school board member who alleges she has been pushed to the point of fearing for her personal safety has filed a petition for a permanent restraining order against the blogger who has spent the past few years posting negative and intimidating content against her on his website.
Gina Clayton-Tarvis, a 46-year-old Ocean View School District board member, has been the subject of much criticism about her political beliefs and actions expressed through displeased locals in the online social network communities since she was elected in 2012. Because of the perceived possible threat displayed in some of the online content, Huntington Beach police have occasionally attended the board meetings to be sure the environment remained safe.
Clayton-Tarvin tried to obtain a restraining order against an anti-immigration activist in 2017, but the court deemed that there was not enough evidence to grant her request.
In a recent complaint filed on March 26 by Clayton-Tarvin’s attorney, she is asking the courts to grant a permanent restraining order against 56-year-old Charles Keeler Johnson for reportedly making her fearful for the safety of herself and her family.
Johnson runs a website, HBSledgehammer.com, where he has posted content speaking out against and displaying his distaste for Clayton-Tarvin and her practices, such as her credibility when accounting experiences she said she had regarding school violence and lockdowns.
Johnson attended school board meetings and was present during a March 6 session where he allegedly continually interrupted until security removed him from the room until the portion of the meeting where public comments were scheduled to be heard.
In her complaint against Johnson, Clayton-Tarvin alleged that he had threatened her life and to hurt her family last year and that he continues to harass her causing her to worry about her safety.
Johnson expressed that he was not able to discuss his defense but that he believes that Clayton-Tarving will be brought to light as a “first amendment assassin,” which he explained to mean that she is using the court to try to keep citizens from speaking out if they do not support her views.
Elected officials are expected to deal with criticism and displeasure from the public, and speaking out, even with a threat of violence, is protected by the First Amendment.
Courts must consider these situations carefully in order to protect Constitutional rights and also decide if a person does stand enough of a risk of physical harm to warrant issuing a restraining order.
Johnson and Clayton-Tarving are scheduled to appear before an Orange County Superior Court on Wednesday concerning the matter.
If you or someone you love is suspected of behavior warranting a restraining order, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.