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State officials recertify county coroner

By By Suzanne Monk / managing editor
May 7, 2002
The state official who revoked Coroner Marl Cobler's certification as a "medical examiner investigator" in February has changed his mind.
Sam L. Howell informed the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors of his decision in a letter presented during a regular meeting Monday. Howell is the administrator of the Office of the State Medical Examiner in Jackson.
In explaining his decision in February, Howell said Cobler had failed to complete 24 hours of continuing education courses required annually by state law.
Howell declined to comment Monday about why he changed his mind, and referred questions to Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore's office.
Jonathan Compretta, the attorney general's chief of staff, said Monday that Cobler had satisfied the continuing education requirement.
Within days of Howell's decision, a lawsuit Cobler had filed against him and other state officials in U.S. District Court was dismissed. Cobler had claimed in the suit that comments Howell made were defamatory and have damaged his reputation.
Compretta declined to comment on whether Howell's change of heart and Cobler's decision to drop the lawsuit are connected.
Cobler declined to comment, except to say that he is back on the job.

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