Chief Coroner, Adams and Broomfield Counties
City of residence
Unincorporated Adams County
I have served as the Coroner for Adams and Broomfield Counties since 2010. A lifelong Adams County resident, my undergraduate degree is in pre-medicine and English. I have a Masters degree in healthcare with an emphasis in forensic science. I have many hours of training in death investigation and the forensic sciences and completed my death investigation training at the St. Louis School of Medicine. I am a national board certified fellow in death investigation through the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.
In the last 11 years I have managed over 40,000 reported deaths.
Explain the role of the County Coroner and why it matters to residents of Adams County residents.
The Coroner is mandated to investigate unexpected, unnatural, and/or unexplained deaths. It is largely a public health entity driven by science and drives public health campaigns and laws. Ensuring that deaths are investigated and classified appropriately affects the criminal justice system; the survivor/veteran benefits of the bereaved; the care and lives of at-risk populations (the elderly, disabled, and the young); and the well-being of the entire community. My Office serves nine cities, as well as unincorporated Adams County. All deaths occurring in the geographic location of our service areas are reported and assessed for the Coroner’s involvement.
What makes you the best candidate for job?
My campaign and office values are competence, compassion, and commitment. I am passionate about providing a vital public service to the community and about compassionately serving the living by caring for the departed. This is the area in which I have committed years to gaining the appropriate education, experience and training to serve my fellow citizens.
Currently, the Coroners in all level-I counties (Denver, Douglas, Arapahoe, Boulder, Jefferson, etc.), like myself, are board certified in death investigation and/or forensic pathology. Electing my opponent will make Adams County the only level-I county that does not have an industry board-certified Coroner.
If you’re elected, what single issue will be at the top of your agenda?
If elected my primary objective will continue to be fulfilling the statutory obligations of the office competently, compassionately, and in accordance with the nationally accepted medicolegal death investigation professional standards of practice.
How does the Coroner's job fit in with other Law Enforcement professionals, such as police and district attorneys?
The Coroner’s Office is an independent office of county government that serves the living by working on behalf of the deceased. The office is an independent entity that renders an opinion on the manner and cause of death.
While the office works closely with law enforcement and the district attorney, we all have very different roles. Law enforcement is focused on community safety and crime detection/prevention. When a death occurs that warrants law enforcement response, they are responsible for investigating and documenting if a crime occurred. They are NOT responsible for determining how and why the individual died.
If elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?
I have ambitions for another term that include finalizing national accreditation of the office, following the completion of a much-needed office expansion and renovation. I would consider such an accomplishment a success.
However, what I consider a bigger success in this office, is the everyday service that is provided by coming along a bereaved family and making what is often a tragic and unbearable event a little bit easier. Serving the community well, with competence and compassion is a success. If my presence makes a meaningful difference in the lives of the citizens we serve, that is successful.