Crawford coroner suing county

ROBERTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Crawford County’s coroner says the county hasn’t been providing him with what he needs to do his job, so he’s taking them to court.

“I’m really breaking the law by doing what the law requires me to do,” Coroner Allen O’Neal said. 

When he gets calls to head to scene, he gets there in his own personal truck. 

For years it hasn’t been an issue, but now he says it’s a problem. 

“They weren’t going to pay any of the bills I’ve turned in, which are by law supposed to be paid,” O’Neal said. 

According Georgia law, county coroners are supposed to get a minimum of $50 expense allowance from the county. 

O’Neal says he hasn’t received that in almost 18 months, which means he’d be owed almost $1000. 

He adds, on top of that, he doesn’t have an official office to get his work done. 

“If I can’t get the work done over at sheriff’s office between 8 and 5, I don’t have any way to contact anybody,” O’Neal said. 

“I’ve got to the point that I’ve got to do something. I can’t keep doing this out of my pocket,” he said. 

41NBC reached out to county manager Pat Kelly. 

He said commissioners couldn’t comment on pending litigation. 

According to O’Neal’s lawsuit, his biggest concern is with the possible health hazards he faces getting to and from a scene.

“I have to go in some of the worst places in the world with all kinds of contamination, all kinds of decomposed stuff, and I’ve got to go carry that back to my car,” O’Neal said. 

He says he’s given the county enough time to come up with a solution. 

“I feel like I’m a failure to this county because I can’t do my job with what I’ve been trained to do because when I get to the scene I don’t have the materials to do my job like I’ve been trained to do it which is a waste of their money,” O’Neal said. 

The county attorney isn’t allowed to take on the case because he represents both sides, so commissioners have reached out to a third party attorney. 

41NBC tried contacting Duke Groover, but we haven’t heard back.

Keep checking back with for the latest information.

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