State suspends county coroner’s license

Published 3:50 pm Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Mississippi medical examiner’s office has suspended the license of a Gulf Coast coroner.

Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk’s certification was suspended Tuesday, according to a letter sent by Mississippi Forensics Laboratory Director Sam Howell to the Hancock County Board of Supervisors.

In the letter, obtained by The Associated Press, Howell wrote that the State Medical Examiner’s office has suspended Faulk’s license for “potential failure to comply” with mandatory reporting requirements to the Department of Child Protection Services on child deaths, as well as to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics on overdose deaths.

Howell also said his office is looking into potential rule violations having to do with “adequate preservation of evidentiary samples.”

“Without certification, Jim Faulk is currently unable to serve as the Coroner Medical Examiner Investigator of Hancock County as of the date of this letter, pending the outcome of any ongoing investigation(s),” Howell said.

When reached by the phone Thursday, Faulk said he hadn’t been contacted by anyone at the state or county about his license being suspended. He said he saw the news on WLOX-TV.

“I can’t answer any questions, because first of all, I don’t know,” Faulk said. “I’ve contacted a possible lawyer and stuff where she can tell me what’s going on.”

Faulk said he has advanced prostate cancer, and is currently dealing with a lot in his personal life.

“Nobody tells me nothing until it’s already done,” he said. “It’s just a bunch of speculation by everybody all the time. In fact, speculation is all they’ve responded to.”

WLOX-TV reported earlier in the week that police executed a search warrant at Faulk’s home and office.

Hancock County Circuit Clerk Kendra Necaise told WLOX the search warrant could not be released without a public records request.