LOCKPORT – Four candidates for appointment will be interviewed Tuesday for the post of District 4 coroner in Niagara County
Richard W. Rutland, a Newfane funeral director, resigned from the position last month, citing time demands. He had been appointed last June, following the resignation of Russell Jackman II, of Wilson.
The contenders for the post are Tammy L. Broeker, of Royalton, a funeral director; Gary L. Darnell, of Wilson, a former Wilson Fire Company president and chief; Michael A. Ross, of the City of Lockport, co-owner of two funeral homes; and Troy A. Sellers, of Newfane, a high school teacher and Methodist minister.
They were chosen from among 13 applicants for the job.
All but Sellers are Republicans; the County Legislature, which will make the appointment, is controlled, 12-3, by the GOP.
The candidates will be interviewed by a five-member committee whose chairman is Legislator David E. Godfrey, R-Wilson.
The other members are Legislators Clyde L. Burmaster, R-Ransomville, and Owen T. Steed, D-Niagara Falls; District 3 Coroner Kenneth V. Lederhouse, R-Lockport; and Gary Hunt, chairman of the county’s Fire Advisory Board.
Godfrey said his committee might vote right after the interviews, which are scheduled to last 30 minutes each.
The selection committee’s recommendation will be voted on by the full Legislature as soon as its May 21 meeting.
The person chosen will have the job through Dec. 31 but will have to win the November election to keep the job for the final two years of the four-year term.
Broeker, in her résumé, calls herself an “unemployed funeral director/embalmer.” She previously worked at numerous funeral homes, including several in Niagara County, from 1995 through 2011.
Darnell is an active member of the Army National Guard. He is a first sergeant, supervising 70 combat medics on a tour duty in the war zone in Afghanistan. He also has been a volunteer firefighter for 30 years.
Ross is co-owner of Hamilton & Clark Funeral Home in Wilson and Ross Funeral Home-Gaul Chapel in Lockport. He has a degree in mortuary science from Southern Illinois University.
Sellers teaches history at Newfane High School, where he has worked for 20 years. He also has been the part-time local pastor of the United Methodist Churches in Royalton and Cambria. “We looked at him because of his compassion,” Godfrey said. “He’s obviously been in a lot of situations.”