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San Joaquin DA Urges Supervisors To Separate Coroners Office From Sheriff

San Joaquin County’s District Attorney and the local Medical Society are urging county supervisors to establish a coroner’s office separate from the sheriff.

County officials actually started looking at the issue before the current controversy.

Allegations of interference by Sheriff Steve Moore from San Joaquin Medical Examiner Dr. Bennet Omalu and pathologist Dr. Sue Parson have prompted calls to establish a separate Coroner’s office.

California is one of the few states that combines both offices in 50 out of 58 counties.

Supervisor Tom Patti said he asked the county administrator a couple of months ago about separating the offices.

“We’re doing an analysis and seeing what can be done and how it can be done. Is it a matter of title and designation? I know that the sheriff had already planned on an expanded medical examiner, so this all may be very timely and come together in a very well-coordinated fashion,” Patti said. 

Dr. Omalu and Dr. Parson submitted their resignations with a 3-month notice but say they would withdraw them if the coroner’s office becomes separate.

Sheriff Moore has stated that he would not oppose the move.

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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