FRANKFORT, KY (2/24/12) – Senator Jerry Rhoads has released the following letter from himself to Governor Steve Beshear on behalf of the Western Kentucky Caucus, opposing the closure of the Western Kentucky Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.
Dear Governor Beshear:
It has recently been brought to my attention that the Kentucky Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Tracey Corey, has announced the proposed closure of the Madisonville Medical Examiner’s Office, effective July 1, 2012. As chair, and on behalf of the Western Kentucky Caucus, we want to express our unanimous opposition to the closure of the Madisonville office.
The Madisonville Medical Examiner’s Office, for many years, has met a vital need for the families, counties, coroners, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and funeral directors throughout the 25 western Kentucky counties served by the Madisonville office. Closure of this office would result in significant additional expenses to all counties in the service area. Perhaps more importantly, the delays caused by the closure would create anxiety and heartache in affected families, as well as delay and hinder criminal investigations and prosecutions.
We understand the challenges in recruiting a qualified forensic pathologist. However, we urge the Chief Medical Examiner and the Justice Cabinet to use all efforts to recruit a qualified person for this position at a competitive salary. Moreover, the office could be staffed in the interim on a contractual basis with qualified pathologists who currently practice in the region. This would be a bridge which could continue local services until a replacement pathologist could be hired.
We simply should not permit the abandonment of services to the families, coroners, law enforcement officers and funeral directors within this region of the state.
We are requesting a meeting with you and/or representatives of your office to address this critical situation. I would be present at the meeting, as well as a representative of the county judge executives, coroners, commonwealth attorneys and the law enforcement community. We would greatly appreciate your serious attention to this matter, and we look forward to our meeting.
Jerry P. Rhoads
Western Kentucky Caucus Chair
Information provided by Sen. Jerry P. Rhoads
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