Sen. Steele has introduced SB 10 which would direct a coroner to recuse him or herself when the coroner has a conflict of interest and to “obtain the services of the coroner of another county” to fulfill the coroner’s duties.
The bill says that “The coroner of the other county serving under this section shall be paid by the county in which the conflict of interest exists.”
A couple of thoughts:
1. I don’t think it’s really “the county in which the conflict of interest exists” that should necessarily pay. Depending on the nature of the conflict, that could be a different county than the one employing the coroner with the conflict. Maybe something more like, “the county served by the coroner recusing himself or herself shall pay the coroner who performs services under this section.”
2. How much is the serving coroner to be paid? Is this in addition to the salary that coroner already receives? Does it matter if the services performed for the other county results in the coroner performing fewer services for his or her own county?
3. It would be nice to have more direction on how the conflicted coroner goes about obtaining the services of the other coroner and whether that coroner has any obligation to step in and help.