Clarion County Sheriff Sworn In as Acting Coroner

| November 14, 2019

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion County Sheriff Rex Munsee was sworn in as acting coroner by President Judge James Arner on Tuesday afternoon.

According to Sheriff Munsee, following the unexpected death of Clarion County Coroner Randall Stom, the question of who would fill the coroner’s position got a little complicated.

“According to county code, it should fall to chief deputy coroner,” Munsee told exploreVenango.com.

The problem was, while Clarion County has four deputy coroners, none of them had ever officially been named chief deputy coroner.

“I was told by the District Attorney that the Sheriff had assumed the position in times of crisis, you might say, in the past,” Munsee said. “The county has to have a coroner. You have to have someone that can go out and do that job.”

While Munsee stepped up to take on the role, he noted that it is only a temporary measure.

“I don’t want to wear these two hats any longer than I have to,” he said.

According to Munsee, one of Clarion County’s current deputy coroners will be getting the certification he needs to be named chief deputy coroner and take on the role of acting coroner in December.

“If we’d have had a chief deputy coroner picked, I’d have been out of the loop, and it would have gone that way, anyway,” Munsee noted.

In the meantime, Sheriff Munsee said he is getting help from other county coroners in the region to fill the duties of coroner for Clarion County until the soon-to-be chief deputy coroner can take over.

“There’s a lot more to it than I realized. I’m learning a lot.”

While Clarion County will have an acting coroner, the future of the actual coroner’s position remains unclear.

County Commissioner Ted Tharan explained, “We’re researching everything right now, and our attorney is researching everything on the proper protocol.

“We’re making sure everything is done properly. As soon as we know anything, we will let everyone know what is going on.”

In the meantime, the investigation into Stom’s death is ongoing. Clarion Borough Police Chief William Peck said he had no additional information to release as of Wednesday afternoon.

Stom, a funeral director at Goble Funeral Home and Crematory in Clarion, served as a Deputy Coroner for two years and Chief Deputy Coroner for Clarion County for three years before being elected to the coroner position in 2017.


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