SALEM, Ore. - Governor Kate Brown announced Tuesday she will appoint Crook County District Attorney Daina Vitolins as a judge to Oregon's 22nd Judicial District Circuit Court, which encompasses Crook and Jefferson counties.
Vitolins will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gary Lee Williams. Her appointment will be effective immediately upon Judge Williams’ retirement, on July 1.
“Daina Vitolins has been serving the people of Central Oregon as a prosecutor in Crook County for more than a decade,” Governor Brown said. “She has earned a reputation as a passionate advocate for the rule of law and the public good. Her commitment to justice will enrich the bench of Oregon’s 22nd Judicial District.”
Vitolins has been the Crook County DA since 2008. She is the immediate past president of the Oregon District Attorney’s Association.
She worked as a deputy district attorney from 2006 to 2008. Before moving to Central Oregon in 2006, Vitolins worked for several years at the Oregon Department of Justice in Salem, as a deputy district attorney in Polk County, and, early in her career, as a staff attorney at Marion-Polk Legal Aid Service.
Vitolins attended law school at Willamette University and earned her bachelor’s degree at the College of Idaho.
Vitolins said of her appointment, “I am deeply honored that Governor Brown has chosen me to fill the Jefferson/Crook County judicial vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Gary Williams. I look forward and am excited to continue my public service as a circuit court judge.”
As outlined in Oregon's Constitution, the governor will appoint Vitolins' successor as DA from among those who submit interest forms. That person would need to run at the next general election next year for a full four-year term in office.