coroner's office

Jeffrey Rouse/

Of all the people running in the most recent Orleans Parish elections, only one of the winners was a true newbie. On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, the new coroner, about his first personal encounter with the facts of political life.

Eve Abrams / WWNO

Pop Quiz: Which New Orleans official was first elected to office in 1974 and has been reelected to that same office nine times, serving a total of 40 consecutive years on the job? Here’s a hint: the office is in charge of mental health commitments, sexual assault examinations, and... classifying the dead.

If you guessed Frank Minyard, the Coroner of New Orleans, you are right. But, for the first time in four decades, Mr. Minyard will not be on the ballot this Saturday. We take a look into who is vying to become New Orleans’ next coroner.

The New Orleans Inspector General's Office has issued a report critical of the way the Orleans Parish coroner has paid some of its employees and independent contractors.

However, the report also commends Coroner Frank Minyard for seeking the review of the practices. And it notes that Minyard has been taking steps to improve the way such payments are made.

Construction of a new home for the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office is expected to begin early this year.

New Orleans CityBusiness reports that the apparent low bid for the project was submitted by Construction Masters of Metairie. The company entered a nearly $11.1 million bid.

Project architect George Hero says the two-story complex will consist of two wings, one for the morgue and another for Orleans Parish Emergency Medical Services.

The sister-in-law of former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson has died after suffering a severe head injury at her home.

John Gagliano, investigator for the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office, says Sandra Peters Jefferson died early Saturday at the Interim LSU Public Hospital. She was hospitalized there Friday with an unspecified head trauma.