Wednesday, May 5, 2010

CORONER'S RACE NOT AS DEAD AS YOU MIGHT THINK

We have an interesting situation brewing in the race for Jefferson County Coroner this year. While most don't really think about this race on a high scale level, as say the Mayoral one, this will be an interesting Democratic primary this year.

The two candidates are Ray Patterson and Barbara Weakley-Jones and quite honestly I already have reservations.

Ray Patterson is a Navy Vet, Deputy Coroner, and 25 yr police investigator retiree.

Barbara Weakley-Jones was appointed by Abramson in 2009, to fulfill the unexpired term of Coroner so naturally this raises red flags in my eyes, and is running to win the election in her own right.

Seems simple enough right?

Unfortunately it never is that simple with Abramson appointees and that is a serious problem when I look at this race.

Barbara Weakley-Jones, as our appointed coroner, has stated that the medical examiner’s office was short handed and she was being paid as contract labor to perform autopsies. This is clearly an ethics situation in my opinion.

The coroner's office is strictly administrative. The coroner in attempting to determine the cause of death, may order an autopsy, hold an inquest, and, when investigating a coroner’s case, request the assistance of the district medical examiner and the Division of Kentucky State Medical Examiners Office (KRS 72.410).

So as Coroner how many cases has Ms. Weakley-Jones sent to herself to do an autopsy thus padding her own pockets? Conflict of interest anyone? This is a major red flag as to how this office will be run if she gets elected on her own merit and sadly just another example of insider deals we continue to find in every branch of government.

According to sources she also stated Jerry was aware of the problem and was ok with her doing this. Double dipping with Abramson approval. Is this anything new either?

From what I am being told Ms. Weakley-Jones is doing autopsies on the clock. This is blatant double dipping.


Just one more example of our tax dollars being streamlined to line insider pockets with Mayoral approval. How is it that we continue to allow Jerry’s friends to be above the law? Appointments are made with Council approval and generally along party lines so where are they on this issue?

Believe it or not this race is just as important as any other we vote in and this is one more example of why we need insider deal makers out of Government.

It is time to root out corruption at every level and in my opinion double dipping and force feeding yourself business at the expense of all of us is as corrupt as it gets. As you can see the corruption hits every level and it is time to end it at all levels.

In this election we have a choice to end the hypocrisies, lies, and deception of elected AND appointed leaders. Get involved.

Your thoughts?

35 comments:

  1. Who are the GOP contenders?

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW....How insightful!! What a scam. I wish I could double dip!

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  3. There is no GOP primary though one person has filed for the office. This article as are most right now deals with contested races.

    By the way folks the coroner I am told makes $62,000 a year. I have not fact checked this yet so if anyone can confirm thanks.

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  4. Danny Chapman is the lone GOP candidate. This job is a law enforcement job...no doctorate needed. You need investigative background to be good at this job. Only one candidate, Mr Patterson, has that experience. Most deputy coroners are all former police officers...coincidence??? I think not. Vote for Mr Patterson...he is the most qualified for this Law Enforcement position. The Coroner is the highest ranking Law Enforcement job in the city.

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  5. Thanks anonymous Danny Chapman is the lone republican candidate and I agree on Ray. He has 25 years investigative experience to offer combined with others maybe we can solve a few cases for a change.

    Thanks for writing.

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  6. This article is spot on! Ray Patterson is clearly the only qualified candidate!!

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  7. Dr. (not Ms.) Weakley-Jones, is one of the most qualified, if not the most qualified, coroners we have ever had in Jefferson County. While the office is a "law enforcement" office she, as a former Medical Examiner for our commonwealth she was actively involved in investigating very tragic fatal accidents along with a wide variety of other deaths. The Medical Examiners office has always served as a resource for all 120 coroners office. She knows the job, because she has done the job for most of her career.

    She is also a professor University of Louisville Department of Pathology, in addition to being a national leader in her field. I am proud to have her yard sign in my yard and the yards of all my family members along with her bumper sticker proudly displayed in the window of my car.

    The other candidates might be qualified to hold this office as well, but in my humble opinion they have no where near the qualifications of Barbara Weakley-Jones, MD. Don't just take my word for it, go to her website: www.barbaraweakleyjones.com and see for yourself!

    On another note, a "doctorate" is the degree held by someone who has a PhD not an MD like Dr. Weakley-Jones.

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  8. MS. Weakley-Jones is a double dipper and violating the public trust in her current position as Abramson appointed Coroner. This is a MAJOR problem for many as we are sick of officials misusing our trust and our resources for their own gain.

    Doing autopsies on a contract basis that are referred to her by herself as coroner is a huge violation. Doing so while on the clock as Coroner is another problem.

    Bottom line misusing our resources for her personal gain is a no no.

    There is a difference between performing autopsies and being a coroner.

    LOL on the education lesson. Really did anyone say otherwise?

    Thanks for commenting.

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  9. Thanks for the lesson. If you need to be a doctor or hold a phd then why are most deputy coroners former officers? By your standards we should have nothing but Drs in as deputies. Your argument secures mine. She is a professor... She does autopsies... And trains and deploys cadaver dogs. How does she have time to be the coroner? She doesn't! Mr Patterson would be a FULL TIME coroner and he can investigate an ENTIRE death scene. That is something Mrs Jones cannot do. I'm sure she is a great medical examiner but she should stick to what she excels at. Without all the former cops in her unit she would be useless at a death scene. Plus she DOES double dip. That's enough for me and she's an Abramson cronny! Says it all right there.

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  10. WOW, AND I THOUGH ALL THAT SNEAKY UNDERHANDED STUFF LEFT WHEN DR. HOLMES LEFT. HOW MUCH MONEY DOES BARBARA WEAKLEY JONES NEED? I FOR ONE ( A TAXPAYER ) AM GETTING REALLY TIRED OF POLITICANS FILLING THEIR POCKETS WITH MY HARD EARNED MONEY. WE TRIED A SCHOOL TEACHER AND THAT DIDN'T WORK. ( HE WAS A COMMON CROOK ) NOW WE HAVE AN MD AND SHE'S DOUBBLE-DIPPING )THATS NOT WORKING. LETS GIVE THAT POLICE DETECTIVE A CHANCE. VOTE FOR RAY PATTERSON FOR CORONER. WHAT I"VE BEEN TOLD IT"S A LAW-ENFORCEMENT JOB ANYWAY.
    THANK YOU ED FOR BRINGING THIS TO OUR ATTENTION. I MIGHT HAVE VOTED FOR ANOTHER CROOK. IT SEEMS TO ME THATS ALL OUR MAYOR ASSOCIATES WITH

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  11. The position of elected Coroner is NOT a law enforcement position in the sense that they are out making arrests!!! - the vast majority of the cases that the coroner's office works on a daily basis are attributed to the natural disease process! therefore, the position should be held by someone who has the knowledge, expertise, and experience that can accurately DETERMINE the cause, as well as, manner of death - the public deserves to have someone as qualified, and committed as Dr. Weeakley Jones!!! - keep in mind that this lady worked as a forensic pathology investigator on the nations worst drunk driver fatality, the Carrollton Bus Crash!! - furthermore, she was an investigator regarding the Standard Gravure Massacre - honestly, how could any of the other candidates even come close to comparing against this forensic doctor for a position as important as this!!!!!!

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  12. So sorry...you dont need a PHD to be the coroner. You made my point for me. She is a professor, a Medical Examiner, and she trains and deploys cadaver dogs. She does not have the time to be the coroner full time. And if what you say is true that you should be a Dr to be the coroner then why arent all the deputy coroners Dr's?? Why are they all former cops? I will tell you...you have to be able to investigate the whole scene...not just the body. Mrs Jones ( I will call her Mrs not Dr) is obviously a great medical examiner but she needs to stick to what she knows. She will have plenty of time to work her cadaver dogs ( she left for a month to go to Haiti during the quakes...again...no time to be a full time coroner) and to do her contract autopsies. She is not trained to to examine the entire death scene. Thats why a former cop who is a deputy coroner comes to the scene.
    Mrs Jones is a buddy of the mayor and we have seen how most Abramson appointees have performed and wasted tax dollars...this is no different. She double dips and orders autopsies for herself. There is nothing right about that/. Just because you are friends with her you see nothing wrong with that. Put your friendship aside and look at the big picture. She IS NOT the most qualified to be the coroner. Do you even know what the qualifications are? TO be 18 and be a citizen of Jefferson County. I dont see Dr anywhere in there.
    Good day sir. Good luck scraping off that bumper sticker.

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  13. One of the anonymous posters made a comment about needing to have a doctorate, I was simply pointing out the difference between having a doctorate degree and being a doctor.

    Why do you refuse to call her Dr. Weakley-Jones? Nothing personal, it just seems disrespectful.

    I am glad, we have people who point out corruption, as you have in the past. I just don't think their is anything corrupt about retiring from the state and then going into a second career as an elected official. I agree with you sometimes times, when I read your blog or listen to your show. This time is different, but hey, you know what they say about opinions...

    Congrats on the C-J endorsement today, btw. Also, where can I sign your co-host's ballot petition?

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  14. I unerstand now Jacob thanks. In the meantime the fact that Weakley-Jones is abusing her duties now by sending private autopsy work to herself which is a clear ethical violation is the gist of this.

    That is as corrupt as any and why she should not be elected IMO. That corruption is the problem we have now. Her duties are to order an autopsy if it is needed but by sending the work to herself or cronies violates the intent of the office. If she cannot understand basic ethics now why would she be able to if elected?

    Thanks again for writing.

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  15. PS Jacob please contact Ed Martin on Facebook and he will be able to direct you on how to sign. Thanks for your kind words as well.

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  16. wow if you want to talk abut double dipping, how about all the cops that do their "off-duty" work while actually on duty paid by the tax payers. now that is truly double dipping

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  17. Hi Joann and Gayle, how have both of you been?

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  18. The coroner doesn't generally go out on cases anyway. it's the deputies that do. They don't have a medical degree and don't need one for their job, nor does the coroner. The majority of the coroner's out in the state are funeral directors, not medical doctors.....good ole country boys! Why Barbara may have wonderful qualifications for something else, it's not needed in the coroner's office. As a taxpayer, I want someone who will focus strictly on that job, not someone that will be spending most of their time in the autopsy suite collecting a paycheck from the state, as a contractor for performing autopsies and Louisville Metro. Enough is enough!

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  19. I never said you needed to be a doctor to be the coroner. I simply said that it makes you more qualified than someone who isn't a medical doctor. Most who I talk thought that you had to be a medical doctor to serve as coroner and were shocked to find out that wasn't the case.

    The gentleman who served as coroner for years, Dr. Richard Greathouse was an MD and by all accounts was an excellent coroner just like Dr. Weakley-Jones.

    I am shocked that people are actually voting against someone because they are too qualified and because her opponent is making an issue out of something that to me is a pebble in the ocean.

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  20. Jocob You have now hit a nerve.I was going to just read these comments but now feel I have to respond.I was there and worker for Dr. Greathouse when he was the coroner, so I can tell you Jacob that you have no idea what you are talking about. Dr. Greathouse only came to the office on wednesdays and left after about 4 to 5 hours.He came in to do an inquest and left to go back to his practice.Billy ran the office.I am left to believe that if Weakley- Jones is going to run the office like Greathouse then she is only going to be there a few hours a week. sounds like that is just what she is doing. So if you want to talk about how great someone is it would be best served to get your facts straight.The next time you throw a pebble in the water Jacob watch to see how far the ripples go.

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  21. "wow if you want to talk abut double dipping, how about all the cops that do their "off-duty" work while actually on duty paid by the tax payers. now that is truly double dipping"

    99.9% of cops work off duty when they are Off...hence the term Off Duty. Any cop that works off duty during his work hours would get fired. I have known at least 2 that have done such a thing.
    Dr Ron Holmes was the previous Coroner. He had a doctorate and was not a medical Dr. Stop trying to tell the world that you need a PhD to be the coroner. That is not the case. Mr Patterson can and would devote all his time to the office...Dr Jones cannot do the same. Our tax dollars wasted a month away while she was in Haiti after the earthquake. I commend her for helping but her JOB is here in Louisville...not anywhere else...or in teh Medical Examiners office.

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  22. "I am shocked that people are actually voting against someone because they are too qualified and because her opponent is making an issue out of something that to me is a pebble in the ocean."
    Sir, people are tired of corruption. You cannot do autopsies your office ordered while getting paid also to be the coroner...what part of this are you okay with?? You must be an Abramson cronny too.

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  23. If I remember correctly, the GOP candidate Danny Chapman also has 25 years of experience as Deputy Coroner. I know that he retired from the
    Coroner's Office as Senior Deputy Coroner. So much has been made about the Coroner being a doctor. If you go outside Jefferson County I would venture to say that most Coroner's are Funeral Directors or even have worked as a mortician at one time. I know that Danny has around 8 years experience as a Police Office also. I think what I like about Danny as Coroner is his compassion. I know he has and still is serving for three or four Fire Departments as a Chaplain. I know this as a fact because I have been to several of his debriefings as he served in Critical Incident Stress Management during a death at a fire. I have known Danny for over 35 years and I know he has also a lot of medical experience, serving as a National and Ky. State
    Certified EMT for at lest 30 years. At one time he was also certified as an EMT Instructor. I read about how Barbara has done autopsy's for years, well that what the Medical Examiner is for, to help determine the cause of death for the Coroner. I not sure if serving as Coroner and working under contract for the State Medical Examiner is a good idea or not. I really think we need someone in office who people can really trust to do the job without controversy.
    I know Danny well, I know his Christian Spirit, and I know how he is with families, because I have seen him with them. I would rather have someone with 25 years of field experience, long with all his other trainings that just compliment
    the job as Coroner. Good Luck Danny, My vote is on you. Your in my prayers.

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  24. Officers are not allowed to do "off-duty" work while on duty. That doesn't mean that some have not done so in the past or aren't doing it now, but when they get caught, and they always somehow get caught, they are severely punished.

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  25. May 6, 2010 9:54 PM
    Anonymous said...
    wow if you want to talk abut double dipping, how about all the cops that do their "off-duty" work while actually on duty paid by the tax payers. now that is truly double dipping

    Hmmm...lets talk about some more corruption...how about the female deputy coroner who used to steal pills from dead people? Why does she still have a job? Why has she been promoted to Chief Deputy? Shes as corrupt as they come.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Good grief, Listen to all these options. Be a doctor, don't be a doctor who really cares. The real question here is Dr Jones double dipping and sending herself business and lining her own pockets while on the clock as the County Coroner? That appears to be an accurate description of her actions.I certainly know that if that was someone other than one of Jerry's friends that person would have a new outfit today. It would be an orange jump suit or at least be out of a job. Isn't it amazing that when someone, who really loves this community like Ed Springston,uncovers corruption about one of the wealthy whose family are big donors to the right people, its just simple ignored.The answer is quite simple. Treat Dr. Jones like you would any other corrupt individual. Put it out there (main stream media)and let the chips fall where they may. My estimation is that Dr. Jones also owes the citizens of Jefferson County around $35,000.00 in Salary she didn't earn. Shame on you Dr. Jones.With the state our community is in,with more layoffs ever day , how do you sleep at nights.shame on you.

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  27. It is absolutely double dipping to do both jobs, there is zero question about that.

    Most coroners out in the state are EMTs, nurses, funeral directors, etc.

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  28. Barbara appointed by the crooked Abramson, we have been "stiffed" enough...... the subject is dead! Good luck Mr. Patterson!

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  29. I can not keep reading the lies that have been said about Dr. Barbara Weakley-Jones. You listed the qualifications about Ray but not hers. She is board certified forensic pathologist, medical doctor, a full time state medical examiner 27yrs, retired. Contracted part time state medical examiner for 2yrs ending June 30th 2010 before the election. She has work with police, lawyers, investigators in more homicides/death scenes and testified in more court cases than her opponent. She has taught most of the classes that her apponent has listed on his educational background. She has work with all the deputy coroners for as long as they have been working in this office. The majority are police officers because Holmes/Handy gave them jobs and fired the rest who were not police loosing well trained deputies along the way. She helped train these and does not intend to get rid of any of them.
    As far as the double dipping idea, you are way off. Before she took the job as coroner, lawyers from the state and local level looked at the situation and determined there was no legal problem. There is absolutly no "padding her own pockets". One should investigate properly before sending out false alligations. She does more hours in the office than is required and is always available by phone for the deputies.
    YES! She is overly qualified for the job yet willing to do it and continue to educate and improve the office of Jefferson County Coroner.

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  30. "Anonymous" sorry you cannot handle the truth. There are no lies here. FACT Ms. Jones is running for office and in fact is double dipping. If she chooses to end that in June is her business but she is doing it now as a candidate and it is wrong period. If she would have quit that when she was appointed by Abramson to be Coroner then this would not be an issue.

    The fact she continues it made it an issue and a glimpse of what this office may become.

    Earning $62,000 a year for doing an investigative job (Coroner duties) and then sending autopsies to yourself for the medical job is a problem.

    What happens when she gets called in to a murder trial and testifies as not only the investigative authority as coroner, but then testifies as the Medical Examiner as well.

    I am no attorney, though I have beat arguably the best in the State so far, and even I could make this a conflict of interest for any jury.

    Imagine the questions: "Dr. Jones do you receive any benefit for your testimony today?"

    Of course her answer would be no.

    Of course it will be an easy connection to accuse Dr. Jones of having a conflict of interest for performing the autopsy and making the determination as assigned by the coroner.

    This of course gives a major advantage to any criminal defendant and their attorneys.

    There is a reason these have always been separate you know.

    Thanks for writing.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Often times the coroner at a scene asks the medical examiner to come to the scene to help with the investigation. At trial they testify to what was at the scene and to the finding of the autopsy. this happens quite often on difficult cases. You really do not know anything about the coroners office or the medical examiner's office, Do You? and you do not not really know anything about DR Weakley-Jones except she was appointed by Abramsom. That is no reason to discredit her. You REALLY need to get the facts correct.

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  32. Actually anonymous the facts are correct sorry you are blinded and cannot see them. Also even with your example you make my case for me as well.

    An INDEPENDENT medical examiner is another witness to verify the findings which adds up to 2 DIFFERENT sources who may conclude the same thing and will hold up in court much better.

    Being one and the same will jeopardize any case as it will not prove any independent findings and that will hurt the prosecutor's case.

    Unfortunately, it is you who really does not understand the process and that is ok. Many do not.

    But thanks for writing.

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  33. Whatever you'd like to call it, I feel it's a conflict of interest. I as a taxpayer don't want to have a coroner making 64k and then walking down the hall to the ME's to perform an autopsy and receive another paycheck or out playing with her dogs. Even though her contract is up in June, they are still short staffed, so we'll see if it ends. If the "medical" part were so important, then why don't all the deputies have some sort of medical degree? BECAUSE IT IS NOT NEEDED FOR THIS JOB!!!! The coroner's office is death investigation and that's possibly why the majority are police officers and the rest that weren't were not fired even though one should have been! As I recall 2 are nurses, 1 retired corrections and 1 REALTOR (Weakley-Jones brother).

    May the best "man" win!

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  34. Let's get down to the real issues of this office. The job of the coroner and deputies is to determine the cause and manner of death. The easy ones to determine are homicide, suicide and accidents. As said before, the vast majority of cases are natural home deaths and the deputy needs to know how to determine the cause by knowing meds and what they are used for, access the body from a MEDICAL standpoint and then putting these facts together to determine an educated cause and manner. This is not a police job!!!! Coroners are law enforcement in that they can arrest anyone who is interfering with their death investigation. We already have police departments in this city---THE CORONERS OFFICE DOES NOT NEED TO BE ANOTHER POLICE DEPARTMENT.

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  35. Being a former Deputy Coroner under Dr. Greathouse and now a Louisville Metro Police Officer some of the post I read people are very misinformed. Officers are not being paid by the city for working off duty because that is illegal and many are paid by the individuals they are working for. Police are good for the post of Coroner because there is a whole lot more to working a death scene. You have to have experience of scene integrity and knowing how to interview people. It does not take a doctor to be coroner because that is why we have medical examiners. You do not make arrest and there is more to law enforcement then that as well. Danny Chapman will make a great coroner. I have know Danny for many years and worked with him.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading LNP. Open and honest discussions of local politics and relevant issues is important to voter understanding. Please listen to the "Ed Springston Show". We broadcast Monday through Thursday evenings at 7 PM on local media outlets. Please check for the links.
Yours truly,
Ed Springston

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