Resignation forces Lee into office early

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 20, 1999

Tedder submitted his resignation letter to the county’s board of supervisors effective Dec. 30 rather than Dec. 31, the official last day of his term of office.

Coroner-elect James Lee was scheduled to take office Jan. 1. But now Lee will become Adams County’s coroner sooner than expected after the Board of Supervisors voted to accept Tedder’s early resignation and after a little head scratching unanimously voted to appoint Lee acting coroner for New Year’s Eve. Lee will be sworn in as acting coroner at 10 a.m. Dec. 30 and will be sworn in again — this time for his official four-year term — on Jan. 4.

“I had no idea Dr. Tedder was going to resign early -&160;not until it was brought before the board,” said Supervisor Darryl Grennell.

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Supervisor Sammy Cauthen speculated that Tedder may have resigned early to qualify for certain retirement benefits.

“If he didn’t retire in December, he might have to wait one or two extra months for his retirement to take effect,” Cauthen said.

Supervisors discussed asking Tedder’s deputy coroner, Dr. Arnold Feldman, to perform the duties of the office for the day between outgoing and incoming coroners.

Board attorney Marion Smith told supervisors that regardless of who the acting coroner was for Dec. 31, that person’s name would have to be submitted by Chancery Clerk Tommy O’Beirne to the Secretary of State and on to the Governor for approval.

“By the time all the approvals are received for Dec. 31, Mr. Lee will already be in office anyway,” Smith said.

Supervisors then decided that Lee should step in ahead of schedule since he has completed training and is prepared for the position.

Lee said the additional day in office does not pose a problem for him or his operation. One concern for Lee has been his inability to get Tedder to speak with him regarding transition of the office of coroner.

“I know he has inventory that I need to know about,” Lee said. But so far, Tedder has not responded to Lee’s phone calls or letters requesting an interview.

“I don’t know what to say about it,” said a frustrated Lee.

Tedder also could not be reached for comment Monday.