Hamilton Co. coroner talks budget cuts

Posted by Trina Edwards - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County coroner Dr. Odell Owens held a press conference Friday to discuss budget cuts in his office.

Owens said he promised his employees that no one would lose their jobs in 2009. The employees voted unanimously to take 80 hours of furlough time.

Because of budget cuts, the county morgue will be closed every other Monday through the end of the year. The county forensic lab will also be closed two days a month for the rest of the year.

Owens said this will delay autopsies and forensic investigations.

"I'm so afraid that with furloughs, that we will delay our investigation, what we can do even more, and there's going to be a criminal that we may be able to identify and we won't be able to because we're either shut down or have furloughs," said Owens.

Owens said his budget was cut at the end of the year, and again in April, and again in June. He's also concerned about budget cuts next year, saying the county wants to cut $600,000 to $700,000 from the 2010 budget.

"If that goes through, there will not be a forensic lab in Hamilton County," said Owens. "It will be shut down."

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