Will County Considering Abolition of Coroner

Morris Daily Herald reports the Will County Board will discuss whether it should put a referendum on the ballot this fall asking voters whether the office of coroner should be abolished.

If passed, a medical examiner would replace the elected county official.

A draft budget indicates the cost for either system would be about the same.

The story quotes county board Majority Leader Wayne McMillan (R-Bolingbrook):

“I have lived in Bolingbrook for 38 years and never have I seen my constituents so disturbed, frustrated and angry with some of failures of the current coroner system.

“There is definitely…the perception the office of the coroner is a barrier to law enforcement bringing criminals to justice.“

I wonder what that is all about.

Republicans apparently control the county board. Coroner Pat O’Neil is a Democrat.

The medical examiner would be appointed by Chief Executive Larry Walsh. He is a Democrat. The appointment would have to be approved by the county board, which seems to be controlled by Republicans.

Kathleen Savio’s death investigation or lack thereof seems to be the driving force behind the possible referendum. She was found in a dry tub with water in her sinuses. She was the third wife of former Bolingbrook Policeman Drew Peterson. A Will County Coroner’s Jury ruled the death was accidental.

Examination after exhumation concluded that her death was a homicide.

Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared Octobler 28, 2007.

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