Lucas County coroner retires after three decades of service

Retiring Coroner

TOLEDO (WTOL) - After more than three decades of service Dr. James Patrick, The Lucas County Coroner is retiring.

In his place, the county will have its first ever female coroner, Dr. Diane Scala-Barnett who has been working with Dr. Patrick for decades.

“Most people think about it as CSI or something like that, but only about five percent of the cases we cover are homicides,” Dr. Patrick said.

But for most families, Dr. Patrick has been able to provide closure following the unexpected death of a loved one.

“Our first obligation is to tell the story of the deceased. And in so doing, we are able to help the family,” Dr. Patrick said.

His replacement, Dr.Diane Scala Barnett had been training with Dr. Patrick since he was her professor and she’s seen him grow the office while working and learning beside him.

“He is responsible for getting us a toxicology laboratory,” Dr. Scala-Barnett said. “We service 21 counties in Northwest Ohio, they send their bodies to us for autopsies because they might be a small county and not have a designated office.”

After working together so long, Dr. Patrick said the office is in capable hands.

“I am gratified that the office will be turned over to her,” Dr. Patrick said.

Copyright 2019 WTOL. All rights reserved.