Easier process to fire county medical examiner proposed

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Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey, joined by Chicago Aldermen to call upon Chicago police and law enforcement officials for new Marijuana policy, Thursday, October 27, 2011. | John H. White~Chicago Sun-Times.

Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey says he’ll introduce a measure making it easier to fire the chief of the county’s morgue.

Fritchey stressed he’s not taking aim at Cook County Medical Examiner Dr. Nancy Jones, but he acknowledged the medical examiner’s open-ended term of office has been raised in the wake of Sun-Times reports about a pileup of bodies at the morgue and staffer complaints about unsanitary working conditions.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has blamed management for the problem and dispatched senior staffers to work at the West Side facility.

Currently county ordinance states “the Medical Examiner’s term continues until he or she resigns or is removed for cause following notice and an opportunity to be heard,” but under Fritchey’s proposal, the president could remove the medical examiner with a majority vote of the board.

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