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Judge Considers Removing Ohio Coroner Facing Suits

CINCINNATI (AP) — A judge is considering whether to remove a southern Ohio coroner from office over allegations that she has mishandled death scenes and abandoned evidence amid her husband’s political feud with a county sheriff.

Judge John Webster Kessler will hear testimony Thursday in a lawsuit against Judith Varnau (var-NOH’), the coroner in Brown County. That’s about 40 miles southeast of Cincinnati.

Varnau has denied the allegations and says she handles cases professionally.

The lawsuit was filed by a couple who question Varnau’s decision to rule their son’s January death a suicide. It was accompanied by 2,300 signatures from county residents who want Varnau removed.

The lawsuit is separate from another suit filed in federal court accusing Varnau of mishandling death investigations.

Varnau was elected in 2012 with 176 write-in votes.

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