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Judge considers removing Ohio coroner being sued, accused of botching death investigations

Reported by: Associated Press
Reported: Thursday, May 15, 2014 6:40 PM EDT

A judge considering whether to remove a southern Ohio coroner from office has heard testimony but will wait to make a ruling.

Brown County coroner Judith Varnau is accused of mishandling death scenes and abandoning evidence amid her husband's political feud with a county sheriff.

Varnau denies the allegations and says she handles cases professionally.

A judge heard testimony Thursday in a lawsuit against Varnau, whose county is about 40 miles southeast of Cincinnati. The lawsuit was filed by a couple who question Varnau's decision to rule their son's January death a suicide.

The couple's attorney, Tracy Hawkins, says the judge expects to issue a ruling next week.

The lawsuit is separate from another suit filed in federal court accusing Varnau of mishandling death investigations.


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