Title: Chief Forensic Investigator/Program Coordinator
Department: Administrator/Controller Updated: 01/2018
Division: Medical Examiner FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Bargaining Unit: CANUE Wage Range: Not Available

In compliance with Michigan State Law Public Act 181 of 1953 the Chief Medical Examiner is responsible for the daily operations of the Medical Examiner Division. This position is responsible for all aspects of division function not required by law of the Chief Medical Examiner. Communications, budgets, accounting, administrative decision making, field investigation, file/record maintenance and supervising all individuals who provide services to this office.


·         Function as a Medical Examiner Special Investigator: Proceed to where the body lies, in any of the following circumstances: Homicide, Suicide, Accidents, SIDS, any death with suspicious circumstances (including: fire, unidentified and/or found bodies, death of a prisoner in county jail, drowning, etc.).

·         Attempt to identify the deceased, if not previously identified. Notify the deceased's next of kin regarding the death and location of the body. Accurately document all efforts to locate the next of kin.

·         Examine the body of the deceased for signs of injury, or disease.

·         Investigate into the manner and cause of death. Possession and inventory of any valuable property upon the deceased, in the event there are no next of kin, and complete a property list form.

·         Documentation and reporting of the investigation for the office file.

·         Oversee the office operations including coordination of schedules and communications between the Medical Examiner, Deputy Medical Examiners, forensic Pathologist, Morgue technicians, Medical Examiner Special Investigators, body transport services and others.

·         Prepare information projects including the annual report.

·         Compose and type departmental correspondence.

·         Maintain departmental statistics and other records and files and disseminate appropriate information to various agencies.

·         Maintain up-to-date information regarding all current and past death investigations; sign and authorized permits; and review all County death certificates.

·         Plans and administers in-service training programs for Medical Examiner personnel to ensure that techniques and procedures are up to date.

·         Evaluates the need for equipment and supplies in the Medical Examiner Division.

·         Oversees all morgue operations including but not limited to: making sure all equipment is provided and in good condition.

·         Take care of specimens in morgue, transporting them when necessary to storage areas, providing them to doctors when necessary.

·         Monitoring slides to be sure the doctors are receiving theirs and that what is produce disqualify.

·         Provide specimen samples for testing to different agencies maintaining a chain of custody.

·         Review of circumstances surrounding reported deaths to determine if additional investigations are warranted and to resolve discrepancies.

·         Communicates with family members of the decedents, in person and by phone, regarding reason for autopsy and necessary autopsy procedures.

·         Provide an official written report explaining manner and cause of death to families of the deceased, and may also upon request, give further explanations by phone or in person.

·         Reasonable knowledge of the legal requirements, rules and procedures covering investigation operations.

·         Communicate with police and hospital employees concerning medical procedures used to more efficiently handle cases requiring attention of the Medical Examiner Division.

·         Responds to requests from law enforcement agencies, funeral home, physicians, and other county divisions regarding legal procedures, status of investigation and individual cases to ensure that assistance and accurate information is provided.

·         Inspection of the morgue, and offices of the Medical Examiner for appearance, orderliness and cleanliness.

·         Writes drafts and division policies and procedures for approval by the Medical Examiner.

·         Arranges the removal of bodies with funeral homes upon the completion of autopsies including the arrangement of indigent burials and authorization of cremation permits as needed.

·         Communicate with the public, survivors, media, attorneys, judicial personnel, those performing services for this office, those working in conjunction with this office and with the Chief Medical Examiner through written, verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. Availability to testify as Keeper of Records when needed.

·         Cremation permits and death certificates: Generate and provide to funeral home in a timely manner, death certificates and when requested cremation permits.

·         Associated Agency Support: Help funeral homes in completing death certificates or find the appropriate person to complete the document. Helping agencies locate the appropriate office to handle their needs.

·         Other duties as assigned.


Reports directly to and works under the general supervision of the Chief Medical Examiner.


May direct the work of Medical Examiner staff, special investigators, and any contracted service for the Medical Examiner’s Office.    


·         ABMDI Board Certification or obtain Board Certification level within (1) year of date of hire. 

·         National Certification of minimal basic EMT or obtained within (1) year of date of hire.

·         Medical and/or legal terminology.

·         Certification in following areas: Medical Transcriptionist, Multiple Fatalities Disaster Responder, Emergency Crime Scene Investigator, Hazmat Technician, Executive Secretarial skills, including ability to work with computers and word processing, ability to compose correspondence and excellent command of the English language.

·         A minimum of at least 5 years of experience working in Forensic/Mortuary Science Field.

·         Reasonable knowledge of the criminal statutes of Michigan pertaining to accidental deaths, suicide and homicide, including rules of evidence chain.

·         Reasonable knowledge and skills in the principles, practices, purposes, materials and equipment used in taking and classifying fingerprints and in taking and processing photographs.

·         Manage and direct departmental operations, including budgeting, strategic planning. Knowledge of and interpret applicable federal, state and local regulations. Develop, apply and explain department and County procedure and policies. Plan and coordinate work staff activities, prioritize, instruct, set deadlines, objectives, measure success, and make recommendations and resolve issues. Methods of research, planning, conducting and implementing major studies or projects. Design and recommend new forms, reports or procedures. Ability to understand and work in complex data processing system, analyze data and exercise sound financial judgment. Analyze administrative problems, evaluate alternatives and implement sound solutions. Prepare and present reports, speeches or training programs to groups. Provide training and guidance in handling difficult or complex problems or resolving escalated complaints or disputes. Work independently with limited direct supervision. Coordinate activities with other departments.                     

·         Complex accounts receivable/payable practices, banking procedures, third party billing and private pay processes.  Proficient in accounting software, i.e. Bi-Tech or One Solution. Ability to reconcile financial reports or records; process department payroll; prepare and reconciled journal entries; purchasing procedures. Knowledge of accounting principles, audit standards, budgeting; annual financial reporting; and IRS practices for Federal, State and Local. Knowledge of liability coverage and claims procedures.         

·         Writing, reading, mathematical principles; proficient computer skills-Microsoft Office Suite, Outlook; exercise sound judgment and decision making in accordance with policies and procedures; ability to research and problem solve independently; knowledge of County operations and functions; ability to prioritize and time manage; handle stressful situations, provide effective and friendly customer service; support the County's mission and values; ability to think critically where necessary.    

·         Knowledge or understanding of basic administrative tasks: operate standard office equipment; document management; prepare and maintain records, various correspondences and reports; answer general inquiries and refer as necessary; answer telephone calls, process mail, order supplies/equipment; prepare meeting agendas, attend meetings, record/transcribe/distribute minutes; entering, transcribing, recording, storing or maintaining information in written or electronic form with speed and accuracy; maintain calendars, arrange meetings, schedule rooms and equipment as necessary.                       

·         Ability to communicate effectively and efficiently with management, co-workers and clients; obtain and communicate accurate information; apply common sense understanding to complex instructions and respond accordingly;  communicate complex ideas through graphs, charts, presentations, reports or other professional correspondence.

  • Ability to demonstrate predictable, reliable, and timely attendance.                
  • Ability to read, write & communicate in English; follow written and verbal instruction and understand basic mathematics and figure checking.              
  • Ability to interpret and apply procedures, rules, technical information, instructions, manuals to complete tasks accurately and on schedule.                                     
  • Ability to learn from directions, observations, and mistakes; and apply procedures using good judgment.                                                                        
  • Ability to use discretion and maintain sensitive and confidential information.     
  • Ability to work independently or part of a team; ability to interact appropriately with others such as County officials, employees, vendors and the general public.
  • Ability to work under supervision, receiving instructions/feedback, coaching/counseling and/or action/discipline.                                             
  • Adaptability to change in the work environment, managing competing demands and ability to deal with frequent changes, delays or unexpected events.
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services including customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction

·         Proficient skills using Microsoft Office programs including, but not limited to: Word, Excel, Access, and Outlook required.  Proficiency may be tested.               

  • Prior to starting employment, the candidate must complete a satisfactory background check.  The background check is understood to encompass all forms of pre-employment screening, including but not limited to: drug screen, physical, criminal background, driving record, sex offender registry, education, training and licensing verification, employment history, credit check, and professional and personal references.
  • Must possess a valid State of Michigan operator license and maintain this license throughout employment in this position.

·         Availability on a 24 hr. 7 day a week basis, to take death reports and determine according to state law, whether bodies should be released to funeral home or brought into the morgue for further investigation.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job with or without accommodations.  Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to:

·         Speak to others to convey information effectively.

·         Read, interpret and understand procedures, rules, technical information, instructions and manuals.

·         Hear and understand information presented through spoken words and sentences.

·         Specific vision requirement includes close vision, distance vision, color and depth perception.

·         Use hands to operate a computer, handle materials and operate equipment.

·         Push or pull carts, reach with hands and arms forward, above and below shoulder level.

·         Lift, move or carry objects, equipment and supplies weighing up to 50 pounds.

·         Sit, bend, stoop, crouch, crawl and kneel in an ergonomically correct manner.

·         Stand and walk, climb stairs.

·         This position requires availability 24/7 for various duties.

·         Normal office hours are from 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. but may occasionally include overtime, evenings or weekends.

·         Generally works in a normal office environment. 

·         The noise level in the work environment is moderate with many interruptions.




Disclaimer: The statements contained in this job description are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this position.  They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all job requirements or duties performed.  The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.




It is the policy of St. Clair County not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, disability that does not prevent performing essential job functions or because he or she is a protected veteran.