Four apply for Rock County coroner

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Nico Savidge
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

MADISON—Four people applied to be Rock County's next coroner, including three who have sought the job before and one who is doing it now on an interim basis.

Coroner Jenifer Keach resigned from her position earlier this month so she could take a nursing job, and Monday was the deadline for applications to finish Keach's term.

Chief Deputy Coroner Lou Smit has been acting coroner since Keach's last day Nov. 16.

The office of Gov. Scott Walker received four applications, Press Secretary Tom Evenson said.

Smit applied, along with Randy Abraham, Melissa Haverley and Christine Hawley, Evenson said.

Abraham, Haverley and Hawley have all sought the coroner position in the past: Haverley and Hawley both served as chief deputy coroner and ran for the top job in 2006 and 2010, respectively. Abraham was a finalist for coroner when Keach was appointed in 2005.

A panel of law enforcement officials and staff from the governor's office will now review the applications and send a list of finalists to Walker, who will make the final decision, Evenson said.

The new coroner should be named in a month or so, he said.

Whoever is chosen will do the job until Keach's term ends in January 2015.

The Rock County Board is expected to vote next year on a proposal to change the position from an elected coroner's office to an appointed medical examiner's office, Keach said.

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