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Dear Editor:

The role of a county coroner is to determine the cause and manner of death. A coroner does not determine motive or intent. The investigation of the circumstances surrounding a death is conducted by law enforcement investigators from the sheriff’s office or police department. For a coroner to act otherwise would be counterproductive and could compromise the investigation in a case.

As a former state prosecutor and career federal prosecutor, I know that each member of a task force or investigation must know their respective roles. Jeff Graf has 16 years of experience in the Chaffee County Coroner’s Office as chief deputy coroner and not only knows his statutory role but carries out his duties with professionalism and compassion for the families of victims.

Actions speak louder than words, and a case in Chaffee County that involved the death investigation of human remains determined to be more than 100 years old shows how that case was handled with professionalism and compassion by the Chaffee County Coroner’s Office and Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office. Jeff Graff worked on the case as the chief deputy coroner. The case was reported on in our local newspapers and by 9 News in Denver, and many will remember the story titled “Community Gives Teen Killed 100 Years Ago a Proper Burial.”

This case is an example of the professionalism and compassion that our community deserves and received from the Chaffee County Coroner’s Office and our law enforcement agencies. I would urge you to vote for Jeff Graf for Chaffee County coroner.

Daniel J. Cassidy
Retired Federal Prosecutor