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Originally published October 7, 2009 at 12:16 AM | Page modified October 7, 2009 at 10:07 AM

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Port of Seattle commissioner accused of stalking ex-girlfriend

Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton was accused of stalking an ex-girlfriend, who says he paid her $5,000 to withdraw her petition for a protective order.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton was accused of stalking an ex-girlfriend, who says he paid her $5,000 to withdraw her petition for a protective order.

According to the petition filed in King County Superior Court on Sept. 10, Creighton sent crude, unwanted text messages, threatened to come by her home uninvited and continued to contact her after she requested that he stop.

Susan Robinet, 35, told The Seattle Times she asked that the petition be dismissed on Sept. 24, when it was scheduled to go before a judge for review. She did so, she said, after Creighton's attorney offered her $5,000 and a written agreement that promised Creighton would not contact her in the future.

Creighton, 43, was elected to the commission on a reform platform in 2005, and is running unopposed for a second four-year term. He referred questions to his attorney, and released a written statement on Tuesday describing the events as "an unfortunate situation arising out of the sad end to a four year relationship."

"There were unbecoming, inappropriate actions by both parties during an emotionally charged time — regrettable written and verbal communications between two adults that while hurtful were never intended to harass," he wrote. "But most of the allegations are completely untrue, and the mutual dismissal of the petition reflects that fact."

His attorney, Robert Meyers, said that Creighton "reached a settlement" with Robinet to withdraw the petition, but Meyers would not comment on the alleged $5,000 payment or a "memorandum of understanding" that outlines terms of the settlement.

A copy of the "memorandum of understanding" states that "Mr. Creighton has paid the sum of five thousand dollars to Ms. Robinet as and for settlement of this matter."

The document, which contained only her signature, also says that Creighton "will have no contact of any kind either directly, or through third parties" with Robinet, and that she is free to seek another court order should he contact her again.

A bank record shows a $5,000 check was deposited to Robinet's account on Sept. 24, the day the charges in her petition were scheduled to go before a judge.

Robinet said Meyers approached her with the settlement and offered her the check.

"The settlement included not just money, but them writing an off-the-record protection order," said Robinet, a real-estate agent. "The fact that he didn't contact me after being served made me comfortable in agreeing to it."

Both Robinet and Creighton are single.

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In her petition for a protection order, Robinet said Creighton sent her 89 text messages in a single week, even after she told him not to contact her again.

The Seattle Times reviewed the text messages and confirmed that they were accurately described in the petition and that they came from Creighton's phone.

"Along with the text and e-mail messages, he continually threatens to come over after I've told him he's not invited, and this needs to stop," she wrote on the petition. She said Creighton called her repeatedly to say he was on his way over to her house, and she added, "I believe he is stalking me and I fear for my safety."

Meyers declined to comment on the stalking allegations outlined in the petition: "You can draw a great deal of import from the fact that the party seeking the protection order was willing to dismiss the protection order, and doesn't necessarily feel the need for a protection order at this point."

Susan Kelleher: 206-464-2508 or skelleher@seattletimes.com

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