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RETIRED POLICE SGT. FACES 35 YEARS FOR NOT PRODUCING DRIVERS LICENSE
July 24, 2003
GRANTS PASS, OR -- The Criminal Justice System in Josephine County is like a baby�s diaper; it�s loaded and it stinks. The county�s criminal justice system is bewitched, bothered and bewildered by one Raymond Karczewski, (Kar-chess-ski) 65. The now retired Judge William Mackay wrote a bench warrant on April 20th for the arrest of Karczewski. That was 90 days ago. Karczewski faces the charges of attempting to elude a police officer, interfering with a peace officer, and failing to carry and present an operator�s license. The charges against Karczewski sound serious on first reading, but when the case is investigated the charges appear to be concocted hyperbole. Deputy Michael Burke wrote up these charges against Karczewski. Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel recently fired Burke for an unspecified reason.
Deputies Take Karczewski to Jail, Taxpayers Pick up the Tab
On July 18th, five deputies arrived in three taxpayer funded patrol vehicles to take one nonviolent man to jail, thus carrying out Judge Mackay�s 90-day old warrant. Karczewski offered no resistance, yet his wife reports her husband was rammed up against the side of the house with his head slammed into the siding. If Karczewski is such a threat to society, why did the criminal justice system wait 90 days to act? In 90-days Karczewski could have been long gone but was arrested at home. Perhaps, leave town is what DA Clay Johnson was hoping he would do.
Why the Sheriff is Short on Cash
Sheriff Daniel complains he doesn�t have enough money to run the county jail. Karczewski is costing taxpayers about $65 dollars per day while he�s lodged in the county jail. That�s just under $3.00 per hour, 24 hours a day, 7-days a week, and $1,950 a month. This is where the money goes, dribbled away on a man who is not a threat to the community and has committed no violent act against society. In Monday�s Grants Pass Daily Courier the police report listed the following incidents. 1. A drunken driver was arrested and the driver was released due to overcrowding in the jail. Drunk drivers are a threat to society. Karczewski was not arrested for drunken driving, yet he�s costing taxpayers $65 a day and drunk drivers are released. 2. A man was arrested for criminal nonsupport but released due to jail overcrowding. Bad decision and poor management are a curse the county criminal justice system has inflicted on county taxpayers. Josephine County�s multimillion-dollar jail houses just 98 tenants today, compared to the old jail under the courthouse that was capped at 64. It all adds up to a very poor investment for taxpayers.
Karczewski speaks From the Jail
On Tuesday evening, July 22nd, I received a phone call from Karczewski from the county jail. He said his treatment by the jail deputies was fine. He also told me a deputy brought him a paper saying that he had been charged with seven counts of simulating legal process. This is a serious class "C" felony with the maximum penalty set at 5-years for each count. Karczewski told me, "I�m only trying to defend myself." The facts appear to lean in Karczewski�s direction. To go from the original charges to a possible 35-years in an Oregon penitentiary is breathtaking. In Karczewski�s case it would be a life sentence the DA is after. Without question this points in the direction of a prosecutor and district attorney�s office devoid of common sense. If Karczewski received the full count on all seven charges, the cost to the taxpayers would be astronomical. The annual reported expense to house one inmate at the state level is approximately $29,000 annually including debt service. Seven counts at 5-years each totals up to $1,015,000, if this 65 year old man were to live to be 100. This is for a nonviolent offense and doesn�t include wasted court time, jail time, and prosecutor�s time. District Attorney Clay Johnson seems to be psychologically well equipped to hunt human prey in the name of the state, and with the ability to target selected victims. Big game hunters are not only found in Africa but also in the Twilight Zone of your local district attorney�s office.
On Monday, July 21st, Karczewski won a round in court when neither local Judge Neufeld nor Coon would touch the court hearing and brought in an unprepared outsider, Judge Gallagher. Local judges normally avoid politically hot issues. It�s reported that Judge Gallagher admitted during court that the court had no claim against Karczewski, but he refused to release him. This appears to have so flustered the DA that he came up with the 7 counts of simulating legal process, a potential $1,000,000 debt for taxpayers to pay. The DA and his alleged vulture-like prosecutors should be charged with a terrorist crime against society for their threat against its economic stability. The reasonable and prudent man will say outrageous; the potential penalty does not fit the alleged crime.
Citizens Are Looking at the Recall Ballot
There is no question this story will make the national scene and be talked about from coast to coast, and perhaps around the globe. When a district attorney so violates the trust the voters have placed in him, there is no way to keep the accountability factor out. Both the names Raymond Karczewski and Clay Johnson will become of public interest. Enough interest could be generated that a recall will be launched against DA Johnson a man who can cost taxpayers millions in wrongful prosecutions.
County Needs System Cleansed
Karczewski is the nemesis of a constipated criminal justice system. The longer Karczewski is held in the Josephine County Jail the more visible District Attorney Clay Johnson and Sheriff Dave Daniel will become for public scrutiny. It�s time for a change. These public employees don�t need more money; what they need is a good laxative that promotes intelligent internal movement.
DA Clay Johnson
� 2003 John Taft - All Rights Reserved
John Taft former president of Josephine County, OR. Taxpayers Association is presently an investigative reporter for the US-Oregon Observer and NewsWithViews.com. He has had many years of broadcasting, news writing and reporting experience. He also has written a popular conservative newsletter for a taxpayers organization to inform the public on taxing issues. John can be reached at [email protected] John's Web site: www.Strobezone.homestead.com
"Without question this points in the direction of a prosecutor and district attorney�s office devoid of common sense"
"District Attorney Clay Johnson seems to be psychologically well equipped to hunt human prey in the name of the state, and with the ability to target selected victims. Big game hunters are not only found in Africa but also in the Twilight Zone of your local district attorney�s office."