Pharos-Tribune

Local News

December 17, 2012

Rozzi prepares for coroner position

Incoming coroner says will retain three current deputy coroners

As Randy Rozzi prepares to take over as Cass County Coroner on Jan. 1, he said he’s working to hire deputy coroners and planning for his certification.

Rozzi, a Democrat, was elected to the position in November after he ran against incumbent Coroner George Franklin. Rozzi currently works at Cass-Pulaski Community Corrections, and under Indiana law, he has to earn state certification for the coroner position.

Rozzi said he attended a meeting of the Indiana Coroner’s Association earlier this month, where he sat through an eight-hour training course covering subjects like Indiana Code and organ and tissue transplant organizations.

Then, in February, Rozzi said he will attend two, three-day weekends of training. After that, he said he believes he has until June to complete the 10 sections of the coroner’s certification test.

Rozzi is also starting the hiring process for his deputy coroners by retaining three of Franklin’s current deputy coroners who, he said, he believes have the proper knowledge and education.

“I felt they were good choices,” Rozzi said.

He said he was also talking with a past deputy coroner from a previous administration.

Franklin said he was not aware which deputies had been retained, but that he had hoped all would be able to stay on.

“There’s an awful lot of experience there,” Franklin said.

Rozzi said he would start out the job with four deputy coroners and add more if needed.

At the beginning of his term, Rozzi said he will go out on calls with the deputy coroners to get more of a feel of the job.  

“I’m going to go to everything until I understand what I’m doing,” Rozzi said.

He said he plans to keep his job as case manager at Cass-Pulaski Community Corrections, but will be able to leave during the day, if needed.

Rozzi has also hired Kayla Gibson, who currently works at Cass-Pulaski Community Corrections, as a part-time secretary to manage purchasing and payroll.

At the December coroner’s meeting, Rozzi said he talked to vendors to check out prices on products and services for the job. He said he’s also been evaluating the prices of the current services the coroner is using.

“I’m looking to obtain the vendors who are going to have the best prices and the best service,” Rozzi said.

Meanwhile, Rozzi said he has been registering himself in the online program that manages the coroner’s reports. He said he will keep Franklin on in the system to complete files that may be ongoing at the time of transition.

He said he had also been to the morgue with Franklin, where he observed an autopsy and met the pathologist.

Franklin said the last step will be to transfer some of the coroner information.

“It’s just a matter of transferring all the equipment and files from my house to his house,” Franklin said.

Franklin said he would be on vacation for the next two weeks and the deputy coroners would be answering the majority of calls during that time.

While Franklin said he does not have definite plans next year, he said he will keep his coroner certification up-to-date each year.

“I intend to keep my certification up,” Franklin said.

Rozzi said he’ll continue to work on hiring and preparing himself for his term.

“I’m ready,” Rozzi said. “I can’t wait for January 1.”

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

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