A man with a history of law enforcement in Wallowa County, 37-year-old Paul Karvoski, was sworn in as municipal judge for the City of Enterprise Sept. 13 and began his official duties Sept. 15. Karvoski replaces Ron Jett, who served in the position for nearly one year after replacing Pearl Collingsworth. Collingsworth retired from the post after serving for 27 years.
Karvoski is a 1986 graduate of Enterprise High School who served as a reserve police deputy for the City of Enterprise and Wallowa County from 1986 to 1989, was a deputy for the Wallowa County Sheriff's Department from 1989 to 1995 and served again as an Enterprise reserve officer from January 2003 until he was sworn in as judge last Monday. From 1995 until 2002 the EHS graduate was in Arizona working in a family construction business.
When Collingsworth served as judge, her duties included adjudicating all misdemeanor and violation citations issued within the city. She also conducted trials. But at her retirement the city council elected to scale down the position of municipal judge so that misdemeanor cases would be sent to the district attorney and the city judge left only to handle violations.
"I will handle traffic citations, MIPs, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and city ordinance violations," Karvoski said. "If I had to do what Pearl did I wouldn't be doing this job," he said. "That would almost require a law degree and the city cannot afford someone who meets those qualifications."
Karvoski said he will continue with the hours Jett set. He will open his office at city hall from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Wednesdays for court and be in periodically throughout the week to do paperwork. He said that paperwork - with information channeled to the city, county and state - comprises 90 percent of his job.
In August and July, the court handled 13 and 14 traffic tickets, respectively. Karvoski estimates that he will handle anywhere from 15 to 25 tickets each month.
Karvoski is not certain that there is a list of requirements to fill the position as Enterprise municipal judge, but thinks that his prior law enforcement background and court experience as a bailiff helped in his selection over the other applicant for the position.
He does not think the fact that wife Stacey Karvoski is running for the position of city mayor will have any real impact on his new position. "The city council hires the municipal judge and then does not oversee what I do. I will be left on my own."
Current Enterprise Mayor Susan Roberts, who is retiring after this term, agreed with Karvoski. "I don't see that there would be a conflict at all," she said. "The municipal judge position is an entity unto itself. All he has to do is follow Oregon municipal law. The council only makes the appointment."
and has nothing more to do with the office."