The continued vacancy at western Kentucky’s medical examiner office has increased transportation costs for coroners. The state has four medical examiner offices and the one in Madisonville has been vacant for close to a year. Chief Medical Examiner Tracey Corey says finding a board certified ME is difficult because of pay disparity. The state recently raised its salary range to up to $154,00 to attract more applicants.
The Madisonville state medical examiner’s office remains open after being threatened with closure earlier this year. The office hasn't had a medical examiner since June 2011, but now officials hope that a new salary for first-year medical examiners may entice applicants.
Changes made to the Kentucky House budget bill would provide funds allowing Madisonville’s medical examiner’s office to stay open another two years. The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet previously sought to close the office due to budget concerns and difficulty hiring a forensic pathologist since the position was left vacant in June. The change to the budget provides for the office’s annual operating costs and also prevents the office from relocating through the 2012-2014 fiscal years.