Melvin "Blue" Lakes
In Kentucky, the office of coroner was elective under the first Constitution in 1792. Under the second Constitution in 1799, the governor was allowed
to appoint the coroner. In 1850, the coroner’s office was again made
elective. Section 99 of Kentucky’s present Constitution establishes the
office of coroner as an elected county office with a four-year term.
The coroner must be at least 24 years of age at the time of election, a citizen of Kentucky, a resident of the state for at least two years preceding election, and a resident for at least one year in the county of election. The Constitution also requires the coroner to take an oath of office and execute bond insuring the proper discharge of duties.
A coroner must possess a current certificate of continuing education in order to perform a postmortem examination.
Coroners and their deputies have the full power and authority of peace officers, including the power of arrest, to bear arms, and to administer oaths.
In performing investigations, the coroner or a deputy may enter public or private property; seize evidence; interrogate persons; and require the production of medical records, documents, or evidence. The coroner may impound vehicles involved in fatal accidents.
The coroner may employ special investigators and photographers in making an investigation and expend funds in carrying out official duties.