Local attorney becomes magistrate

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By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

Karen Werner to be sworn in Monday at courthouse

TELL CITY - "I think this is a great opportunity to do something different, to use my legal skills in a different way than I have been for the past eight years," attorney Karen Werner said of her selection as the next Perry County magistrate.

Perry Circuit Judge Lucy Goffinet notified The News Monday she had appointed Werner to replace Jonathan Parkhurst. As The News reported Nov. 5, Goffinet fired the former magistrate the preceding week in response to what she called unprofessional words and actions on his part during a discussion on how to ease jail overcrowding.

Parkhurst called the interchange simply "a disagreement."

Werner gained experience in criminal, family, juvenile, collections, estate-planning, zoning and guardianship areas since she began working at the Waldschmidt and Werner law practice in 1999. Her father, John, is a longtime Perry County attorney.

She earned a Juris Doctor that year from the University of Louisville School of Law, serving as a law clerk in that Kentucky city's Lynch, Cox, Gilman and Mahan practice in the year leading to her graduation. She performed research and other duties for two other Kentucky law firms in 1997.

She worked the summers of 1994 and '95 at Waldschmidt and Werner, as she worked toward a bachelor-of-science degree through the Indiana University School of Business, which she earned in 1996.

Other work experience on her rsum includes a summer job as sales and marketing assistant at Pointe Golf and Tennis Resort, Bloomington, in 1996 and teller and bookkeeping assistant at Old National Bank, Tell City, the summers of 1992 and '93.

Werner has served since 2003 on the Perry County Community Foundation, Leadership Perry County Board of Directors and as chairperson for the Evangelical United Church of Christ Women's Guild Scholarship Committee.

She joined the Perry County Women for Women Fund Advisory Committee in 2004 and became president of the Perry County Community Corrections Advisory Board this year.

Goffinet said she appointed Werner "because she's capable, professional, local and she gets along with everyone."

Werner will begin working in her new job after a swearing-in ceremony scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday in the main courtroom at the Perry County Courthouse.

The public is welcome to attend, Goffinet said.