Former Idaho coroner facing state charges

By: 
Associated Press
Staff Writer

The former Valley County coroner is facing two misdemeanor charges because prosecutors say he used the county's truck for personal transportation.
Some officials are also raising questions about where he stored human remains when he stopped using the designated county morgue for a few months earlier this year.
Idaho law doesn't specify how coroners may store bodies, and former coroner Nathan Hess has declined to answer questions about the matter.
Ness resigned May 18, and county commissioners named Scott Carver to the position the same day.
Hess' arraignment is currently set for Oct. 3. He told the Idaho Statesman that he was hindered in the job by a lack of training or help from county officials.
As in other rural areas across the state, the Valley County morgue and coroner's office is in space rented from the region's only funeral home. Ness was an employee at Heikkila Funeral Home when he took the coroner's post, and he hoped to buy the funeral home himself someday.
That plan came to an end when he was fired from the funeral home last November after working there for seven years.
Hess, 41, says funeral home owner Marvin Heikkila fired him because Hess' state-required mortician's license had expired.
In Idaho, all morticians and funeral homes must be licensed annually. County coroners, though, do not have to be licensed.
Read the entire article in the Sept. 25 edition of the Blackfoot Morning News

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