Monday, June 17, 2019

Chairman of Winnebago County supervisors joins calls for Busby to step down from coroner position

Board Chairman Shiloh J. Ramos presides at a recent meeting of the Winnebago County supervisors.

By Miles Maguire
The chair of the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors has added his voice to the calls for the resignation of Coroner Barry L. Busby.

"Based on what I know, assuming it is accurate, I think it would be best for all involved if the coroner resigned," said Shiloh J. Ramos, of Neenah. "That is not a statement I take lightly."

Busby has come under fire or his treatment of associates and his extended absences from office. He has also been the subject of an ethics investigation by the Wisconsin Coroners and Medical Examiners Association based on allegations of sexual harassment.

But Busby has defended the performance of his office and given no indication of plans to step down.

Ramos joins County Executive Mark Harris, Sheriff John Matz and Supervisor Bill Wingren, who heads the board's Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, in calling for a change in leadership in the coroner's office.

"In terms of the coroner situation, I certainly think it is unfortunate," Ramos said. "I am concerned for both the coroner’s office and the coroner himself given the situation."

Because Busby holds an elected office, he does not have any administrative supervisor in county government. To remove him from office would take a recall election or action by the governor, Harris said.

Frustrated by their lack of control over the situation, some officials are exploring the idea of moving from the current elected coroner model to one that would rely on an appointed medical examiner.

Ramos expressed caution about this change. "In terms of moving to a medical examiner model, certainly that would require further study to better understand the pros and cons of it versus the coroner model," he said.

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