Coroner Dr. Erik Mitchell said Douglas County should not notice a change in service from his office even though he resigned Wednesday morning as Shawnee County’s coroner, effective at the end of the year.
After failing to reach an agreement with Shawnee County commissioners about funding his office in the 2012 budget, Mitchell said he would begin moving his Frontier Forensics P.A. practice from Topeka to an office he has in Kansas City, Kan. So autopsies from Douglas County will be conducted there instead of in Topeka.
Mitchell has served as Douglas County’s coroner since the mid-1990s and is a part owner of Frontier Forensics in Topeka. His office also operates coroner services for Lyon, Chase, Allen, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson counties and provides deputy coroner services in several others, including Osage, Franklin and Jefferson counties. Dr. Donald Pojman, also a part owner of Frontier Forensics, and Dr. Altaf Hossain are physicians in Mitchell’s office and serve as deputy Douglas County coroners.
Mitchell did confirm he told Shawnee County commissioners Wednesday morning that he had been offered a position in New York and intended to accept it. Wednesday afternoon he said he was “certainly going to look at” taking the position.
“Frontier Forensics will continue to be able to serve the counties who want Frontier Forensics,” Mitchell said, “just as always.”
Douglas County Administrator Craig Weinaug said someone at Mitchell’s office said it would begin serving the county out of Kansas City, Kan., and would not charge extra travel costs.
“It shouldn’t have any impact on us at all,” Weinaug said.