I-TEAM: NOLA Coroner’s Office to make changes after AG opinion

Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 11:05 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WAFB) - New Orleans city government is making changes to comply with a state law regarding who can issue cremation permits.

New Orleans native Dwight McKenna has served as coroner in Orleans Parish since 2017.

A review of records by the WAFB I-Team found one instance where a clerk, not Mckenna, approved a family’s request for a cremation permit.

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A copy of an Attorney General’s opinion lists the people who can legally approve cremations.

“It is our opinion that coroners, deputy coroners, and assistant coroners are the only officials in the office of the coroner who are authorized by law to issue a permit for cremation,” the opinion states.

City spokesman Jason Melancon confirms changes are being made.

“We were recently made aware of this issue and are in process of updating our forms to include the coroner’s name on the permits. It should be hopefully done, soon,” said Melancon.

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