Coroner’s candidates cite experience, compassion in forum

Published 12:58 am Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Being coroner isn’t a high-profile job, but it’s a very important job to the families of the 75 to 90 people who die in Covington County every year, incumbent Norman Hobson said.

Hobson said as coroner, he doesn’t set policy or make laws, but his office does investigate deaths and complete the death certificate paperwork that allows families to move business and legal affairs forward after the death of a loved one.

Asked if it were fair for a private business owner to have that public job, Hobson said “historically, the funeral homes and the county coroner’s job go hand in hand. I don’t see any problem with it.”

Asked about the budget for his office, he quipped “very little.” The coroner is paid $30 per call and mileage, he said.

To serve as coroner, a person must be 25 and have been a resident for a year. Asked if there should be more qualifications, Hobson said that in death investigations, he works with the Alabama forensics departments, all of whom are trained for investigations.

Challenger Eddie Rowell said he is challenging Hobson because he is a “God-fearing Christian” with a desire for public service. A paramedic, Rowell said he believes his experience qualifies him for the job, adding that he believes he can bring compassion to the office.

The two men who will face off in November, participated in the Civitan political forum co-sponsored by WAAO and The Star-News Tuesday night.