In a statement released in early May, Orleans Parish Coroner Dr. Dwight McKenna announced that he will release a 90-Day plan to address any deficiencies or concerns uncovered as he continues his audit of the office’s operations.
“I will spend the next several days continuing my assessment and audit of all aspects of the current operations at the coroner’s office, examining ways the office can and must improve to better meet the needs of the community,” Dr. McKenna said in a statement. “…one of my first actions as your coroner will be the release of a 90-day plan that will outline proactive steps, plans and timetables to rectify any deficiencies, aligning the office with best practices, to ensure the coroner’s office is operating efficiently, effectively and ethically. Throughout this process, I will reach out to you for your valued input and invaluable support.”
Dr. McKenna’s concerns regarding the operations at the coroner’s office were raised in the months and weeks leading up to his inauguration as various media organizations highlighted troubles in their reports, including a coroner’s office van driver who was fired by the former coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse in mid-April after he was arrested by FBI agents on federal drug charges and another office employee arrested by police and fired by Dr. Rouse in March of this year for pawning coroner’s office equipment.
Dr. McKenna is the first Black doctor elected coroner in the history of the state and nation. He is the second African-American to be elected coroner in the nation’s history. He took office on May 4.