Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lake County Board Member Aaron Lawlor Calls for Eliminating Office of Coroner in Wake of Keller Scandal

As we've been following for what seems like years, the scandalous activities associated with the Lake County Coroner's office have finally driven at least one member of the county board to take some action -- Member Aaron Lawlor, a relatively fresh face on the county board, is now calling to eliminate the office of coroner and replace it with an appointed medical examiner under the supervision of the county board. One would hope that this would result in some direct cost savings to the county, as well as providing a greater level of oversight into the operations of the office, since lately there hasn't seem to have been any -- either for the coroner or his deputy.

We'll have to wait and see if others join Lawlor's push to shake up the status quo.

Here's Lawlor's press release:

Lake County Commissioner Aaron Lawlor Calls For Disgraced
Coroner’s Office to Transition from Elected to Appointed Position

WAUKEGAN, IL – Today Lake County Commissioner Aaron Lawlor (R-Vernon Hills) called for transitioning the Lake County Coroner’s office from an elected position to an appointed position after Coroner Richard Keller pled guilty to felony charges and resigned.

Lawlor presented the proposal to the County Board’s Law and Judicial Committee.

“We have seen scandal after scandal come out of Coroner Keller’s Office,” Lawlor said. “Moving the Coroner to an appointed position dramatically improves budget oversight.”

Under Illinois law, the move to reform the Coroner’s office would require voter approval and would happen after County Board Chairman David Stolman appoints someone to serve out the remainder of Keller’s term.

“Regardless of who replaces Richard Keller, we have to ask ourselves, ‘Why do we really need an elected coroner?’” Lawlor said. “We can serve Lake County better with a professional medical examiner.”

The next possible election to hold a referendum to eliminate the Coroner’s position would be in March 2012.



Anonymous said...

The office shouldn't be elminated, but it should be nonpartisan. Republicans and Democrats usually don't examine dead bodies differently. The coroners should be elected, but no one should care about the party of each candidate.

Phil Collins

Anonymous said...

I believe there was a study commissioned by the Lake County Board over a decade ago suggesting an appointed Coroner as well as a couple of other county-wide positions and a reduction of the Board to 12 member districts.

The report was paid for and flushed down the toilet. Perhaps those ideas are not so silly now.

As to Lawlor suggesting the position be appointed as a result of disgraces occurring in the office - that's silly - we'd have to eliminate the entire Congress.

Anonymous said...

As long as the boy is on a kick to cut waste and improve professionalism I suggest he also apply some of his politically opportunistic energy to call for a binding referendum on building a new Winchester House. The county long ago admitted it does not have the cash or cranium to run a county hospital so why pretend it's any better positioned to run a nursing home. Try government by Yellow Pages! It works!

A. Bees said...

Gotta give Aaron some credit for identifying a role that probably should be appointed and have more consistency in its leadership. It would also be nice to have someone in the role with a background in investigating crimes, rather than running a political campaign. Kudos to Aaron on this one.

Anonymous said...

Eliminating offices because of the poor performances of certain officials is wrong. If that was sop we would not have an Illinois Governor nor most of the other positions in the state because of poor performance of those officials.

It's a lot easier to hold a single official accountable at the ballot box than it is to hold low level commissioners for appointments.


A. Bees said...

My point isn't to eliminate due to Keller's work, but rather the political reality of people going into office who are not the best for the job.

LC Truth said...

Bees...the idea of an M.E. vs. and elected Coroner is older than Aaron. He just re-hashed what has been studied in the past. Regardless, it is still a good idea. A+ for the rerun A.L., but when you go to further your studies don't try the same tactics on your professor.

Anonymous said...

Lawlor is a GOP rising star