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Nationwide search for new Clark County coroner continues

Updated October 21, 2020 - 3:30 pm

A nationwide search for Clark County’s next coroner is ongoing, and officials have “no preconceived date” for when the position will be filled.

“We are moving forward with seeking a qualified candidate for the position,” said Stacey Welling, a spokesperson for the county.

Applications for the position will be accepted online through Nov. 20. The post became vacant in early August following John Fudenberg’s retirement, described at the time as a cost-saving measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fudenberg, who had been in the position for five years, earned more than $172,000 last year in total pay, according to online employment records.

In the meantime, Welling said, Assistant Coroner Brett Harding will help oversee day-to-day operations at the Clark County coroner’s office, which investigates all suicides, deaths by violence or criminal means, and any unattended deaths in Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite and Laughlin.

The coroner’s office also is responsible for investigating deaths in Nye County, which does not have its own coroner. Occasionally, the agency takes cases from other nearby counties.

The job posting states that the county is seeking either a “duly qualified and licensed” candidate with a medical background — physician, surgeon or pathologist — or “a competent, reputable professional” holding at least a bachelor’s degree.

If the latter, the candidate must have at least five years of experience in a coroner-medical examiner office, at least five years of experience in public or business administration, and a bachelor’s degree — or higher — in either forensic science, biology, chemistry, criminal justice, law, medicine, social work, public health or public administration.

Before joining the Clark County coroner’s office in 2003 as an assistant coroner, Fudenberg worked in law enforcement and corrections. He was promoted to coroner in 2015, after Michael Murphy left the position for a job with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Once the job listing closes in November, the Clark County manager will select a candidate. The appointment then must be confirmed by the Clark County Commission.

Currently, the coroner’s office consists of 20 coroner investigators and three part-time forensic medical transcriptionists. The administrative division comprises Harding, the assistant coroner, and seven full-time and seven part-time support staff members.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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