Interim county coroner appointed to replace retiring Meeker

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Legislators appointed a new Cortland County coroner last week to serve out the last of a three-year term left behind by Whitney Meeker.

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She retires at the end of this month, capping 14 years on the job.

Denise Bushnell was selected as her temporary replacement. Her term begins January 1, 2021 and runs through next year. An election will then be held in the fall to secure a full-time successor to Meeker.

Chairman Paul Heider (LD-16) assigned a committee of three legislators to oversee the process of fielding candidates.

Their search came down to just two finalists. A third person was interviewed late on December 11, but got ruled out for future consideration by the committee.

Heider said he hoped a single candidate would have been selected for a vote prior to Thursday’s meeting.

A final vote on Bushnell was taken at the end of a closed-door executive session, where legislators discussed which of the two names should be taken up for a vote.

The final result was a 13-4 confirmation.

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