Vienna

Tallassee funeral director named new coroner

Published 1:06pm Monday, March 17, 2014

Earlier last week Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Tallassee funeral home director Joe Jeffcoat to serve as county coroner for the rest of the calendar year.

Jeffcoat was serving as “special coroner” for the county following former coroner Tim Ellison’s guilty plea to theft and ethics violations.

Ellison, who served as Elmore County’s coroner for 15-plus years, was previously indicted on numerous counts of theft of property charges for the overbilling of municipalities and the Elmore County Commission for the transportation of bodies to the State Forensics Department.

Ellison retracted his plea of innocence on March 6 and entered into a guilty plea on two counts of theft of property charges and one count of use of his official elected office for personal gain, which is a state ethics violation.

One of the theft charges was a felony charge, so he had to vacate his position as county coroner immediately, according to state law.

Jeffcoat will serve as the county coroner until January 2015 when the newly elected coroner takes office.

The office is being contested by Brad Linville and Errol Law, who are both running as Republicans.

So the office may be decided as early as the June primary unless an independent candidate earns enough signatures to be included on the ballot.

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