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Coroner’s Office Rejected

Spokane County Coroner Dexter Amend will be able to finish the last two years of his office, but he’ll never be able to run for coroner again.

County voters on Tuesday resoundingly voted to eliminate the elected coroner position in favor of an appointed medical examiner who must be a medical doctor.

In two years, county commissioners or a medical board will appoint the medical examiner to serve as the county’s official forensic pathologist.

County coroners did not have to be medical doctors.

Amend, a 77-year-old retired urologist, has been criticized for offending grieving families with questions about masturbation, sodomy and alcoholism. His death certificates have been questioned.

Over the next two years, as Amend finishes his term, county commissioners will determine how the medical examiner will operate in Spokane County.

Proponents of the measure hope a medical examiner would report to the county Health District or an appointed panel. They want the position to be free from political influence.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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