Appointment; revocation. Upon appointment of a Medical Examiner and his/her deputies as provided in Article XXX of the Charter, a certificate of such appointment shall be filed and recorded in the office of the County Clerk. The Medical Examiner, before entering upon the duties of his/her office, shall take and file the prescribed oath of office and furnish and file the required undertaking. The appointment of the Medical Examiner and any of his/her deputies may be revoked at any time by the County Executive by the filing of a certificate of such revocation in the office of the County Clerk.
Jurisdiction to investigate deaths. The Medical Examiner shall have jurisdiction and authority to investigate the death of every person dying within the County of Dutchess or whose body is found within the County which is or appears to be:
A violent death, whether by criminal violence, suicide or casualty;
A death caused by unlawful act or criminal neglect;
A death occurring in a suspicious, unusual or unexplained manner;
A death caused by suspected criminal abortion;
A death while unattended by a physician, so far as can be discovered, or where no physician, able to certify the cause of death as provided in the Public Health Law and in a form as prescribed by the Commissioner of Health, can be found;
A death of a person confined in a public institution other than a hospital, infirmary or nursing home.
Manner of investigation.
When the Medical Examiner is informed of the occurrence of a death within his/her jurisdiction as defined in the previous subsection, he/she shall go at once to the place where the body is and take charge of it. The Medical Examiner shall have authority, to the extent required for the investigation, to remove and transport the body upon taking charge of it, notwithstanding any general, special or local law.
The Medical Examiner shall fully investigate the essential facts concerning the death, taking the names and addresses of as many witnesses thereto as it may be practicable to obtain, and before leaving the premises shall reduce all such facts to writing. He/She shall take possession of any portable objects which, in his/her opinion, may be useful in establishing the cause or means of death.
In the course of the investigation, the Medical Examiner shall make or cause to be made such examinations, including an autopsy, as in his/her opinion are necessary to establish the cause of death, or to determine the means or manner of death, or to discover facts, the ascertainment of which is requested in writing by a District Attorney, or a Sheriff, or the Chief of a police department of a city or the County, or the Superintendent of State Police, or the Commissioner of Corrections. The authority to make any examination as provided in this section includes the authority to remove, retain and transport or send, for the purpose of the examination, any tissue or organs and any portable object. The Medical Examiner shall have power to subpoena and examine witnesses under oath in the same manner as a magistrate in holding a court of special sessions.
Advice, consultation and assistance. The Medical Examiner shall have authority, when necessary in his/her opinion, to consult with and to request advice, consultation or other assistance from any officer of a department of the state government, from any Medical Examiner of any city or county, from any coroner or coroner's physician of any county, or from the head of any public health laboratory, police laboratory or state or municipal laboratory or from any member of the staff of such laboratory designated for such purposes by the head thereof, or from any physician qualified to make post-mortem examinations and to testify thereon; and to request from any such person such tests, examinations or analysis and reports with respect thereto as are necessary, in his/her opinion, with respect to the body of the deceased or any part thereof or with respect to any other matter related to his/her investigation.
Employment of stenographer. When the services of a stenographer shall not have been provided by the County Legislature, or if a stenographer so provided is not available, the Medical Examiner shall have the power to employ a stenographer for the purpose of taking statements and reducing to writing the testimony of witnesses or of transcribing or reproducing any report or document required by his/her investigation. If the County Legislature has not fixed any rate of compensation, such stenographer shall be paid for taking and transcribing minutes at the rate charged by official court stenographers in the County of Dutchess.
Reports and records.
The writing made by the Medical Examiner at the place where he/she takes charge of the body shall be filed promptly in the office of the Medical Examiner. The testimony of witnesses examined before him/her and the report of any examination made or directed by him/her shall be made in writing or reduced to writing and thereupon filed in such office.
The report of any autopsy or other examination shall state every fact and circumstance tending to show the condition of the body and the cause and means or manner of death. The person performing any autopsy for the purpose of determining the cause of death or means or manner of death shall enter upon the record the pathological appearance and findings, embodying such information as may be prescribed by the State Commissioner of Health, and append thereto the diagnosis of the cause of death and of the means or manner of death. Methods and forms prescribed by the State Commissioner of Health for obtaining and preserving records and statistics of autopsies conducted within the state shall be employed. A detailed description of the findings, written during the progress of the autopsy, and the conclusions drawn therefrom shall, when completed, be filed in the office of the Medical Examiner.
The Medical Examiner shall keep full and complete records, properly indexed, stating the name, if known, of every person whose death is investigated, the place where the body was found, the date of death, if known, and if not known, the date or approximate date as determined by the investigation, to which there shall be attached the original report of the Medical Examiner and the detailed findings of the autopsy, if any. Such records shall be kept in the office of the Medical Examiner.
Such records as required in this section shall be open to inspection by the District Attorney. Upon application of the personal representative, spouse or next of kin of the deceased or any person who is or may be affected in a civil or a criminal action by the contents of the record or any investigation, or upon application of any person having a substantial interest therein, an order may be made by court of record, or by a Justice of the Supreme Court, that the record of that investigation be made available for his/her inspection, or that a transcript thereof be furnished to him/her, or both.
The Medical Examiner shall promptly deliver to the District Attorney copies of all records pertaining to any death whenever, in his/her opinion or in the judgment of the person performing the autopsy, there is any indication that a crime was committed.
Disposition of money or property found on deceased.
Money and other property found upon the body of the deceased, not required for the purpose of the investigation, shall be delivered to the Commissioner of Finance of the County of Dutchess. Unless claimed in the meantime by the legal representatives of the deceased, articles held for the purpose of the investigation, except such writings of the deceased as may be relevant to the diagnosis of means or manner of death, shall be delivered to the Commissioner of Finance of the County of Dutchess at the conclusion of the investigation.
Upon the delivery of the money to the Commissioner of Finance, he/she must place it to the credit of the County. If other property is delivered to him/her, he/she must, within one year, sell it at public auction upon reasonable public notice, and must, in like manner, place the proceeds to the credit of the County.
If the money be demanded within six years by the legal representatives of the deceased, the Commissioner of Finance must pay it to them, after deducting the amount of expenses incurred in connection therewith, or it may be so paid at any time thereafter, upon the order of the County Legislature; provided, however, that such money may be so paid at any time upon written order of the Surrogate of the County of Dutchess.
Before auditing and allowing the account of the Medical Examiner, the County Legislature must require from him/her a statement in writing of any money or other property found upon persons whose deaths he/she has investigated, verified by his/her oath to the effect that the statement is true and that the money or property mentioned in it has been delivered to the legal representatives of the deceased, or to the Commissioner of Finance.
There shall be a Fire Advisory Board whose members shall be appointed by the County Legislature in the manner and for the term provided by law. Each member of the Fire Advisory Board holding office on the effective date of this Code shall continue in office for the balance of his/her term, at the conclusion of which the applicable appointive provisions of this Code shall become operative. The Fire Advisory Board shall have the powers and duties conferred upon it by the Charter, this Code or other applicable law.
[Amended 2-14-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983; 12-6-1993 by L.L. No. 8-1993]
There shall be a County Historian, appointed by the County Executive, subject to confirmation by the County Legislature. He/She shall serve at the pleasure of the County Executive. He/She shall have all the powers and perform all the duties now or hereafter conferred or imposed upon him/her by law and perform such other and related duties required by the County Executive or the County Legislature.
[Added 12-6-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
The Director of the Office for the Aging shall:
Be responsible for providing the following general services in connection with the County's aging population, which shall include but not be limited to:
Plan environmental and personal services to meet the needs of the elderly through the evaluation of services and the identification of major problems affecting the elderly;
Stimulate and review needed programs and services for the elderly;
Conduct research on the needs of the elderly in this community and develop alternative means of meeting these needs;
Cooperate with elderly citizens and organizations servicing or representing the elderly to meet the needs of the elderly population of the community;
Provide information relative to programs and services for the elderly in the community and sources of support for programs and services;
Encourage the cooperation of agencies servicing the elderly; and
Recommend to and cooperate with federal, state and local agencies in the development of policy toward the elderly.
The Director of the Office for the Aging may from time to time add or delete such programs as allowed by statute, rule or regulation.
Advisory Board/Committee, officers, powers and duties. The existing Aging Advisory Board/Committee shall continue without interruption or change.
It shall consist of not less than nine nor more than 18 members appointed by the County Executive whose function and duty it will be to advise the Director on matters related to the operation of said division. The term for which the members shall be appointed to serve shall be as follows:
[Added 3-13-1991 by L.L. No. 3-1991; amended by L.L. No. 8-1991]
The County Executive shall convene an Architect, Engineer and Construction Management Consultant Selection Committee for the County of Dutchess.
Membership of the Architect, Engineer and Construction Management Consultant Selection Committee.
[Amended 4-14-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
There will be an Architect, Engineer and Construction Management Consultant Selection Committee consisting of 10 members as follows:
The Chair of the Public Works and Capital Projects Committee of the Dutchess County Legislature shall serve as Chair of this Committee.
The Comptroller, County Clerk, Sheriff and District Attorney or their respective designees shall be members of the Committee with full rights and voting privileges when such proposed capital construction projects directly involve their departments.
Powers and duties of the Architect, Engineer and Construction Management Consultant Selection Committee.
The Architect, Engineer and Construction Management Consultant Selection Committee will assess the qualifications of all architects, engineers and construction management consultants whose services may be used in the construction of capital projects, for which an amount of $2,000,000 or more will be spent;
[Amended 7-14-1997 by L.L. No. 7-1997; 8-13-2001 by L.L. No. 6-2001]
The Architect, Engineer and Construction Management Consultant Selection Committee will recommend the best qualified architect, engineer and construction management consultant based upon an evaluation of the candidate's credentials, experience and fee offer and report the results of its findings and recommendations to the County Executive; and
The Architect, Engineer and Construction Management Consultant Selection Committee shall have the power to establish the necessary rules and regulation for the conduct of its business.
Editor's Note: Former Sec. 30.06, County Veterinarian, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 5-8-1978 by L.L. No. 5-1978.