A motion to hire an additional deputy coroner was made by District 4 Supervisor Mala Brooks at Tuesday’s Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting, but was not seconded.
Brooks said a deputy coroner was needed due to an increase in deaths over the past few years.
“The deaths annually have increased from 555 in 2017, 596 in 2018, to 601 in 2019,” Brooks said, pointing out from a document distributed by Johnson.
At the Feb. 3 BOS meeting, County Coroner Methel Johnson requested the addition of a deputy coroner. She said calls can come in quickly and she is sometimes not able to respond to the cases in a timely manner.
During the Feb. 3 meeting, the motion was made by Brooks to hire a second deputy coroner, but that motion was later rescinded due to a misunderstanding of the deputy coroner salary and fee per case.
Due to that, the board voted to table the matter until clarification was reached about the deputy coroner’s pay, if hired.
Johnson said with the addition of a deputy coroner, the office would be more efficient in responding to cases.
The additional deputy coroner position would have called for a salary of $300 a month as well a per case fee.
The board ultimately decided not to hire an additional deputy coroner.
The board also discussed issuing Johnson a new vehicle, which will be taken up by the finance committee.