Wayne County Coroner resigns amid pressure

When the former Wayne County Coroner, Dr. David Hanna announced his retirement from the position in 2015, the County scrambled to find someone suitable for the job. The requirements were the person must be a doctor, residing in Wayne County.

Regardless of party affiliation, few people with the qualifications surfaced. The decision came between two Republicans. Dr. Karen M. Nickell, from Palmyra and Dr. Daniel Koretz, from the Town of Ontario.

After the Republican Committee met with both the retiring doctors, Nickell, of 1041 Stafford Road in Palmyra received the nod. She previously had an office on Main Street in Palmyra and was the only name on the ballot for the November, 2016 election. The position pays $42,929 per year.

Koretz was appointed deputy coroner and the County thought all would run normally.

Problems began almost immediately upon Nickell beginning the County Coroner position. A wrong body ended up in Syracuse, funeral directors began complaining when death certificates went unsigned. Police agencies too had problems with death certificates and the Coroner’s Office.

By late Spring the Board of Supervisors began receiving complaints. A Lyons family lost a member in May and by August, still unable to collect on life insurance due to the name on the death certificate being spelled wrong.

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