Crime & Courts Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Georgia Senate passes bill on coroner duties

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 6:55 PM
Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 2:02 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

The Georgia Senate passed a bill, sponsored by Sen. Hardie Davis, D-Augusta, that seeks to clarify current law on a coroner’s obligations regarding unclaimed objects or property of deceased people.

The legislation passed by a vote of 51-0. Senate Bill 383 now transfers to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Davis said Wednesday that the bill is in the House’s judiciary committee and his goal is to have a hearing within the next few days. The bill was needed to close loopholes in the current law, he said.

Current law states that coroners and county medical examiners who are unable to locate family members of the deceased are to take possession of and inventory all property found on the person, and surrender this property to those entitled to take custody of the possessions. The Senate bill clarifies that this property should not be converted to the coroner’s personal use.

Davis said he wants the law to be clear so everyone understands what happens to a deceased person’s personal effects, even in cases where such property is used in any investigation.

Former Richmond County Cor­on­er Grover Tuten was indicted in January on charges of theft and violation of oath of office. According to an indictment, Tuten is accused of stealing cash, vehicles and other property from the dead, and keeping money for burial services and sales of property that should have gone into the county’s coffers for several years.

Tuten has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on bond pending trial. Tuten, 70, resigned his elected office on Feb. 20. He worked in the coroner’s office for nearly 36 years.

Comments (1) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
myfather15 03/06/14 - 07:39 am
It's sad that we need

It's sad that we need legislators to pass bills and more laws, telling people to do the RIGHT THING!!

Shouldn't this be automatic? Shouldn't this be engrained into our conscious? It's not a bad idea to do this, to make it absolutely clear the exact place where the property is to go; it's just sad that it takes a legislator to make it happen!! Most laws come about because some idiot, criminal did something dishonorable and legislator's thought they need to pass something to prevent this in the future!! Many times, laws already on the books would cover it; but don't think a legislator is not going to take ANY opportunity to get his name out there!!

Is it not already illegal to steal?

GiantsAllDay 03/06/14 - 01:23 pm
MyFather15, Excellent post.

Excellent post. Especially the part about the legislator getting his/her name out there.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs