A Conflict Of Interest Which Must Be ChangedRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Feb 21 2018 10:37 AM
HOUSTON COUNTY: Since 1987 a funeral director has been the Houston County Coroner. His name is Robert Byrd.
This election cycle Eddie Ingram, who is not a funeral director, is seeking election as Houston County Coroner. And I talked with Eddie and sought him to run for the post of Houston County Coroner.
First let me say, Robert Byrd is a great funeral director. Nothing in this article is being critical of his professional career as a funeral director or the services he provides as a funeral director.
But his tenure as Coroner is a direct conflict of interest. And I am outraged at some of the things that has gone on. That is why I talked with Eddie about running.
I am going to be sketchy on the details because I do not want families to realize or know which deaths I am referring to.
But a death where the body was laying on a backboard on the ground. When the Deputy Coroner was asked about placing the body in the "COUNTY OWNED VAN", the Deputy Coroner reply was " what funeral home are they using?". What does it matter?
The body was in the yard and so was the family. Out of respect for the person who died, out of respect for the bereaved family, you put the body in the "COUNTY OWNED VAN". Man, show respect.
It does not matter what funeral home the family is using.
In one case the Houston County Coroner's Office said that funeral home is out of town and they can not carry the body to that funeral home. LIE. They can. But, the Houston County Coroner's Office will not carry a body to any funeral home. They will transport to where they keep the Coroner Van for the Coroner's Funeral Home and have them come pick up the body. But not for any other funeral home.
That is wrong. Coroner has zero to do with being a funeral home owner. Being a mortician is not a qualification requirement for a Coroner. And in fact, being a funeral home owner is a conflict of interest. Ask any funeral home in Houston County not owned by the Coroner and they will tell you horror stories.
You see Robert putting up a lot of signs and spending a lot of money to retain being Coroner. The average funeral is about $ 10,000.00 plus dollars. Being Coroner and owning a funeral home is personally profitable to a funeral home owner. So therefore he will spend what he needs to retain that position.
There has been to many questionable actions as to a conflict of interest and families not being treated as they should when the Coroner's funeral home was not the choice. It is time for a change.
ONLY ELECTED OFFICIAL IN HOUSTON COUNY WHICH PROFITS PERSONALLY FROM DECISIONS FAMILIES MAKE AND THE ONLY ELECTED OFFICIAL WHICH HAS HIS NAME ON THREE SIDES OF THE COUNTY VEHICLE
Houston County furnishes a van to the Houston County Coroner for use in the performance of his job as Coroner. For the respectful handling of the deceased and the respect of the bereaved family.
Houston County Coroner Robert Byrd owns a funeral home. He personally profits from decisions of which families make when they select a funeral home. And a death situation is a time when a family is most vulnerable.
The Houston County van furnished to the Coroner has on three sides " Coroner Robert Byrd". No other county owned vehicle has the name of the officials or elected official on the county owned vehicle. The only one is that of the Coroner.
And no other elected official makes personal profit over the decisions bereaved families make in the performance of their duties other than the Houston County Coroner.
IT IS TIME TO TAKE THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST
FROM THE HOUSTON COUNTY CORONER'S OFFICE
Eddie Ingram was raised with his daddy being Coroner. He has served in law enforcement. Eddie has served as Deputy Coroner. He is qualified to perform the job as Coroner, and will do so independent of any funeral home. It will never matter to Eddie Ingram what funeral home a family selects. The bodies will be treated with the dignity and respect deserved to the deceased and the bereaved families will be treated with compassion, dignity and respect.
To Eddie Ingram, it will matter not that funeral home the family wants. There will not be any pressure or influence on a bereaved family at a vulnerable time for them to use a certain funeral home.
And a body will not lay on the ground in the dirt because they made a selection other than the Coroner's Funeral Home.