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County names medical examiner

The St. Croix County Board has appointed Casey Swetlik, staff supervisor in the emergency communications center, as the county's new medical examiner.

Swetlik, who has been working as interim medical examiner since Cindy Litzell resigned last August, will work on contract and be paid $900 a month. He will be allowed to appoint up to four deputy medical examiners and determine their pay within the constraints of his budget.

Under his contract, Swetlik is responsible for all medical examiner training and the investigation format.

The county medical examiner takes phone reports on nursing home deaths and deaths of pre-registered hospice patients and authorizes cremations. Scene reports are required for unexplained, accidental and work-related deaths.

The medical examiner is to use the Ramsey County (Minn.) Medical Examiner's office or other qualified providers for necessary death investigations and autopsies.

He will report to the Public Protection Committee, providing a monthly report of the number of autopsies performed, number of cases investigated and closed, number of pending cases and causes of death for each case investigated.

Swetlik and his deputies will be independent contractors and not county employees.

Public Protection Committee Chairwoman Julie Speer said the committee posted the position opening on the Internet and in local newspapers. Three people applied.

"All three were qualified," said Speer.

The selection was made by a committee that included District Attorney Eric Johnson, Corporation Counsel Greg Timmerman, Administrative Coordinator Chuck Whiting, Chief Sheriff's Deputy Bob Klanderman and three members of the Public Protection Committee.