Saturday, July 27, 2002

Clermont coroner resigns

Dr. Capurro is under investigation

By Kristina Goetz,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BATAVIA — Longtime Clermont County coroner Dr. Nico Capurro resigned Friday in a five-line letter sent to the Board of County Commissioners, but did not disclose why.

        “Not a word,” said Kathy Lehr, commissioners' spokeswoman.

        A staff member from Dr. Capurro's office delivered the letter, which offered his resignation effective Friday and said how much he enjoyed the job he has held for 30 years.

        Dr. Capurro did not return calls to his home Friday.

        The resignation came a day after federal officials confirmed they are investigating the coroner, though they refused to give details or say how long the investigation will last. It also came one day after County Prosecutor Don White called on the coroner to resign.

        Adams County sheriff's deputies helped federal officials serve a search warrant last month at a Manchester doctor's office associated with Dr. Capurro. Adams and Clermont county prosecutors have said they are not involved in the investigation.

        “I think it's the best thing for Dr. Capurro and the county,” said Mr. White. He would not comment further.

        Ms. Lehr said commissioners will meet Wednesday night to decide the next course of action. Commissioners will name a temporary coroner until the Republican Party can name an interim coroner who will serve until the election in November.

        “He (Dr. Capurro) continues to serve until such time as a successor is named and qualified,” Ms. Lehr said.

        A Republican, Dr. Capurro was re-elected to his latest four-year term in 2000. He ran unopposed. The coroner position in Clermont County is full-time with a salary of $102,000. The coroner in Clermont County does not perform autopsies, rather referring them to other morgues.

        Dr. Capurro has often been in the news. In the 1970s he was coach of a Cincinnati professional soccer team. In 1993, he was fired from his second job as medical director at the Hamilton County Justice Center by a private firm amid allegations of sexual harassment.


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