In a county with a population of two hundred fifty thousand or more, the county legislative authority may, upon majority vote at an election called by the county legislative authority, adopt a system under which a medical examiner may be appointed to replace the office of the coroner. The county legislative authority must adopt a resolution or ordinance that creates the office of medical examiner at least thirty days prior to the first day of filing for the primary election for county offices. If a county adopts such a resolution or ordinance, the resolution or ordinance shall be referred to the voters for confirmation or rejection at the next date for a special election according to RCW 29A.04.321. If the resolution or ordinance is approved by majority vote, no election shall be held for the position of coroner and the coroner's position is abolished following the expiration of the coroner's term of office or upon vacating of the office of the coroner for any reason. The county legislative authority shall appoint a medical examiner to assume the statutory duties performed by the county coroner and the appointment shall become effective following the expiration of the coroner's term of office or upon the vacating of the office of the coroner. To be appointed as a medical examiner pursuant to this section, a person must either be: (1) Certified as a forensic pathologist by the American board of pathology; or (2) a qualified physician eligible to take the American board of pathology exam in forensic pathology within one year of being appointed. A physician specializing in pathology who is appointed to the position of medical examiner and who is not certified as a forensic pathologist must pass the pathology exam within three years of the appointment.
[2006 c 344 § 27; 1996 c 108 § 2.]
| Effective date -- 2006 c 344 §§ 1-16 and 18-40: See note following RCW 29A.04.311.|