Citing Lack of Evidence, Judge Rules in Favor Of Slaton

After a contentious battle, owner of the Trumped Store in Show Low and aspiring political figure Steve Slaton secured a legal victory on Dec. 20, as the Arizona Superior Court overturned an injunction against harassment filed by former Arizona State Representative Walt Blackman of Snowflake. The decision, handed down by Judge Joseph P. Mikitish, holds substantial weight in Slaton’s defense against allegations put forth by Blackman. Both individuals are contending for the Arizona House of Representatives LD-7 seat within the Republican Party.

The legal tussle stemmed from Blackman’s initial petition for an injunction against harassment on Mar. 13, in which he detailed several instances he claimed involved Slaton. These included allegations of falsehoods, derogatory statements, and harassment via email campaigns directed at approximately 60 coworkers in the Arizona House of Representatives and 30 coworkers in the Arizona Senate. Blackman further asserted that Slaton employed racial slurs, made intimidating phone calls and sent letters, and sought financial information from over 100 donors, causing undue stress to his family for more than six years.


The court’s legal analysis emphasized Blackman’s failure to produce evidence supporting the alleged racial slurs or the purported derogatory letters to donors. It affirmed that such political interactions and statements, even if critical, are inherent to the political process and cannot be deemed acts of harassment. The court concluded that events not raised in the initial petition, such as comments in a newspaper article, could not be considered during the trial.

The analysis underscored that Blackman did not meet the statutory requirements for the injunction, lacking proof of a series of harassing acts directed at him within the year before the petition. As a result, the Superior Court overturned the Justice Court’s decision, indicating that Blackman failed to establish sufficient evidence against Slaton.

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