Darren Doyle, Edmonson Voice
Edmonson County Coroner Michael Alexander and Deputy Coroner Daniel Ashley have both resigned from their positions as of Monday's Fiscal Court meeting, but will remain in the office until August 1st. The resignations come from a discovery of losing service time put in at their other jobs at the Bowling Green Fire Department.
Alexander, who was first elected as Coroner in the 2010 election, told the Fiscal Court that he pays to two retirement accounts, one as Coroner, the other as an 18 year veteran of the fire department. According to Alexander, the state retirement fund penalizes him for participating in two funds, the one from the fire department being hazardous duty pay. He said that each year, he loses one month of service time from his years at the fire department. He also said that if he is promoted in rank, that can become a loss of two or even three months per year.
"This was a difficult decision for me to make," Alexander said. "I've been thinking hard about this for several months, but I can't afford to lose any more service time than I already have."
He said he currently has lost a total of 7 months service time, which means if he continues to work until he would have normally retired, he will have to work an additional 7 months to make up for the retirement penalty.
Deputy Coroner Daniel Ashley was in the same predicament and he was forced to follow suit with Alexander in order to avoid more service time penalties.
"I knew there would be a penalty, and it didn't seem that bad at first, but it keeps increasing," Alexander added. "I tried to do a good job for my county and we both did the best we could. Again, this was a difficult decision, and I want nothing but good things for Edmonson County."
Judge Wil Cannon said "I've been around a lot of coroners, and Michael has done a great job, Daniel has, too. We hate to see you go, but we understand."
Brentley Esters, a certified Coroner, employed by Patton Funeral Home who was added as a Deputy Coroner back in June, was recommended to fulfill the position but there were questions as to how that would come about. Some mentioned there would have to be a special election in the near future. The election board said they would review the case and do what was necessary when the situation was properly researched. County Attorney J.B. Hines said there were several issues to look at and he didn't want to speculate on what steps needed to be made for now. The county has until August before the new plan becomes final.