Sheriff, coroner consolidation ordinance on supervisors’ agenda

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EUREKA- Consolidating the sheriff, coroner and public administrator positions is on the agenda for the Humboldt County Board of Supervisor’s meeting Friday.

The supervisors intend to create an ordinance merging the offices together. Humboldt is one of the last ten California counties to have a separate coroner’s office. The consolidation would save more than $26,000 annually and would allow for more personnel to deal with coroner cases. If the ordinance is drafted and approved, Sheriff Mike Downey would become the county’s coroner. According to the supervisors, this consolidation has been in discussion for nearly 35 years.

“What you will see different really on the ground is if there's an accident, if there's a death through violent means or an unexplained death and the coroner is called, it will be a sheriff's officer who would be responding to that call and not the coroner himself or some of the deputy coroners,” 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell said.