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Kane Coroner Race: Who's Better for the Job, a Doctor or a Lawman?

The Republican nomination for Kane County coroner pits Robert Tiballi against DuPage County Sheriff's Sgt. L. Robert Russell.

Choosing between the Republican candidates for Kane County coroner is a little like choosing between CSI and Quincy.

Should the coroner be an investigator or a doctor?

Both candidates offer the promise that they will be better than their predecessor, , who is has been indicted on charges of official misconduct for allowing an employee to take a TV from the Carpentersville home of a deceased man. Both candidates have administrative experience, and both say they will restore the public's trust in the office.

The contrast between the candidates is their professional background and the way they view the function and purpose of the Coroner's Office.

On one hand, you have , a physician with 23 years of experience and 15 years' experience as founder of a medical group and was chairman of the department of medicine at a large hospital—so he has administrative experience as well as his medical degree.

Tiballi wants to be a proactive coroner, setting new performance standards and looking at programs to decrease suicides and accidental deaths of newborns.

Tiballi says his medical experience will allow Kane County to take advantage of new statutes that allow a coroner to determine a cause of death without a formal inquest. 

In the past, Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay has suggested that the Coroner's Office should be converted to a medical examiner's office. Tiballi suggests that electing him would offer the benefits of a medical examiner.

On the other side of the card is , who also has 20-plus years of experience, but in the category of law enforcement. Russell is a sergeant with the DuPage County Sheriff's Office.

Russell notes that the coroner's office job primarily involves investigations and administration. If you look at the budget, he says, that's where 80 percent of the money goes. The other 20 percent is for outsourced services of medical professionals.

While Tiballi's rallying cry is "the only doctor in the race," Russell notes that he's the only candidate who has conducted death investigations on scene.

Russell has some proactive ideas, as well. He has proposed that the Coroner's Office conduct a voluntary accreditation audit, which allows outside agencies to compare Kane County's procedures with national standards and help move the coroner's office into the 21st century. He would also look at partnering with local hospitals and other nongovernment agencies to share resources and save taxpayer dollars.



Robert Tiballi — bobtiballi.com

L. Robert Russell — russell4coroner.com



Chicago Tribune:

Daily Herald: Tiballi

Kane County Chronicle: Russell


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