Monday, April 22, 2019

Detweiler Seeks Democratic Nod for Schuylkill County Coroner in Primary

Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Deb Detweiler has announced her bid to head the Coroner's Office.

Detweiler, 47, of West Brunswick Township, is seeking the Democratic nod for the office of county coroner in the May 21 primary election.

According to Detweiler, she wants to restore the integrity of the office, currently held by Dr. David J. Moylan III.

“As the Coroner of Schuylkill County, I plan to be a hands-on coroner. Unlike the current absent administration, I will be showing up for work every day. My top priority is to restore the integrity of the Coroner’s office and to be there for the families when they are at their most vulnerable time, providing the compassion, sympathy and support that they need and so deserve.” she said.

"Contrary to the belief of many, you do not need to be a doctor to be a coroner she said. Out of 67 counties in Pennsylvania, only 6% have doctors as coroners", Detweiler stated.

“I will develop an educated and skilled staff that is necessary to perform their job and to better serve the community. I will create one cohesive team with law enforcement and funeral homes. By working together there are solutions available that will provide the necessary support these agencies’ need. I will advocate for a centralized permanent location for the coroner’s office allowing for the proper space that is needed to care for your loved one and utilizing the taxpayer’s money more effective and efficiently,” she said.

“I believe every remain entrusted into my care is precious. This is someone’s child, parent, spouse or sibling. Accordingly, we as a coroner’s office must treat them with the utmost dignity and respect at all times and act like you would if their family were standing by your side,” she said.

Detweiler, who also works as a deputy coroner in Berks County, says she intends to correct problems in the current office.

"Moylan is an absent administrator and has allowed this office to deteriorate, all the while reaping a financial gain from you, the taxpayer" she said.

“My opponent will pat himself on the back with regards to his virtual autopsies. Although they are a great tool for the living, the reality behind these scans is they are only recommended as an alternative diagnostic tool when the conventional autopsies are not possible." 

“In 2015 my opponent publicly stated that he intends to publish a study based upon the information from these scans. As a taxpayer you need to ask yourself the question, at what cost? In just in the last few years, my opponent has spent well over $125,000 for virtual scans that you the taxpayer have paid for - all for the benefit of my opponent to publish a study."

“Not only is he benefitting monetarily from the virtual autopsies, he is also charging the county a monthly rental fee at an additional $2,400 a year, all while he continues to be over budget year after year.,” she said.

Detweiler said that under Moylan, the office was $16,000 over budget last year in the per diem deputy account which is used to pay the deputy coroners.

“In the past eight years there has not been any disposition of any unclaimed assets. These assets come from people who pass away with no family, and the county code states after a year these belongings are to be liquidated and the proceeds go back into the general fund for the county. Previous coroners have given back as much a $80,000. My opponent? Zero,” she said.

Detweiler also said death certificates and cremation authorizations are not being issued in a timely manner.

“At the end of 2018, there were 130 pending death certificates in this county ranging from the year 2012 to present day. That means 130 families and loved ones without closure. One hundred and thirty families who potentially went without death benefits for their loved ones because you cannot collect the benefit without a death certificate."

“We have loved ones not being properly cared for and they are not being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve,” she said.

Detweiler, a 1990 graduate of Schuylkill Haven High School, is endorsed by Berks County Coroner Dennis J. Hess, the Philip C. Melley Memorial Lodge #65 of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, the North Schuylkill FOP Lodge #25, and Schuylkill County Sheriff Joseph G. Groody. A mother of five, Detweiler was born and raised in Schuylkill County. She is state certified as a death investigator, and has handled well over 500 death investigations. Detweiler is knowledgeable about pertinent laws, statues and ordinances normally associated with the Coroner’s Office, and serves on the Schuylkill County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board and the Suicide Prevention Task Force.

She has more than 20 years’ experience in emergency services, serving as an EMT for 24 years, as a 911 dispatcher for 10 years, and as a firefighter for six years. Detweiler has been a CPR instructor, worked as a nurse’s aide in a hospital setting, nursing home and hospice, is a grief recovery specialist, an ordained minister, and has completed numerous forensic trainings. She has served for 19 years as the union steward for ASFCME local 1512, and so knows how to handle employee/management obstacles

** DISCLAIMER:  The information provided in this story was provided in a press release from the candidate.  The posting of the information above is not an endorsement as Skook News does not endorse any candidate and reflects the opinion of the candidate.  Skook News will allow any Schuylkill County candidate to submit a press release for publication and will print their opinion, within reason.  Press releases can be submitted to skooknews@outlook.com.

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