Supervisors caught in middle of dispute over coroner's status

By By Chris Allen Baker / staff writer
March 5, 2002
Clayton Cobler, the apparent choice to replace Marl Cobler as the county's "medical examiner investigator," has informed the board of supervisors he doesn't want the position.
County Administrator Rex Hiatt informed Lauderdale supervisors of Cobler's decision at a regular board meeting Monday.
Meanwhile, supervisors are seeking clarification of Coroner Marl Cobler's status.
State officials revoked Marl Cobler's certification as a medical examiner investigator because he failed to complete 24 hours of continuing education courses required annually. The elder Cobler retains his elected title of "coroner," but cannot certify or investigate deaths.
Dr. Sam Howell, administrator of the Mississippi State Medical Examiner's Office in Jackson said Marl Cobler can re-apply for certification next year.
Rick Barry, attorney for the board of supervisors, said there is disagreement between Marl Cobler and state officials on his status but that the board has no part in that disagreement.
Marl Cobler declined to comment Monday.
Supervisor Ray Boswell, District 5, expressed concern about appointing someone prematurely.
Barry said no one is being replaced.
Cedric Parks, 29, a taxi service owner in Meridian, told supervisors he is interested in the position. Parks said he is a licensed funeral director and mortician, but would have to earn medical examiner's certification.

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