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.