NORTH ADAMS -- A local school administrator arrested on drug charges last week was suspected of "using, buying, selling and bartering" prescription opiates at and inside Cheshire Elementary School and elsewhere in the county, according to a police report filed at Northern Berkshire District Court (NBDC) on Wednesday.
Kurt Garivaltis, 45, director of special services at Adams-Cheshire Regional School District [ACRSD], had his arraignment on a charge of possession of a Class B drug, Percocet, postponed until Feb. 6 in NBDC on Wednesday. Garivaltis, of East Road in Adams, is out on bail.
On Jan. 24, members of Berkshire Country Drug Task Force (BCDTF) arrested Garivaltis in his Cheshire Elementary School office after finding a 30 mg Percocet pill, a box of Fentanyl synthetic opioid patches and Suboxone film in his wallet, briefcase and car, respectively. BCDTF had earlier been granted the search warrants on account of information given to them on two occasions, in June 2012 and again this month, according to a probable cause report filed by Sgt. Travas T. McCarthy of the Massachusetts State Police.
The first of these reported Garivaltis’ alleged drug use at the school and prompted BCDTF to open an investigation. The second went further in saying the administrator was also allegedly engaging in drug transactions at Cheshire Elementary School both inside the building and outside in the parking lot.
The second report quickly led to last Thursday’s search and arrest.
McCarthy states Garivaltis denied opioid dependence, describing himself as a "recreational Percocet user" who consumed not more than 10 of the 30 mg pills per week, acquired from an unnamed person in Pittsfield.
The Fentanyl patches the administrator attributed to a 2006 snowmobile accident in which he’d suffered multiple bone fractures and has since undergone physical therapy.
McCarthy’s report notes too that Vicks Cold relief pills, caffeine pills, ephedrine pills and nicotine gum found in Garivaltis’ office are commonly employed by opiate users for their "stimulant effect to counteract some of the CNS (central nervous system) depressant effects of [opiates] ... avoid nodding off and maintain a balanced appearance."
ACRSD Superintendent Kristen Gordon said Wednesday that Garivaltis’ employment status is under review.
To reach Phil Demers, email