Story continues below gallery

Paula Rothrock grid

With a new coroner assured to be in office beginning in January, what new ideas do you have for how the office should be administered?

Ethics, confidentiality and respect. Anyone who serves as deputy coroner will sign a code of ethics which will promote confidentiality and respect for the deceased and their families. Separate coroner’s office from law enforcement to provide unbiased death investigations.

What matters should elected coroners handle as opposed to handing a case over to a deputy coroner? What responsibilities will you assign to a deputy coroner?

Ultimately, I will be responsible for the coroner’s office. Deputies will be trained to handle any death scene. All cases are subject to review by myself and staff. Staff will serve as a second set of eyes on scene deaths. Deputy coroners will be certified the same as I.

How would you use information gathered on causes of death to raise awareness about public health problems such as drug abuse or other matters?

Underlying mental health issues contribute to public health problems including drug abuse, domestic abuse, suicide and homicide. Thorough investigations and trending should be enhanced to raise awareness in the community. The coroner’s office should be involved with community organizations that work hard to address these issues.

Clayton Nolting grid

With a new coroner assured to be in office beginning in January, what new ideas do you have for how the office should be administered?

As coroner, I will work to prepare the office for the future. I will establish a multi-discipline advisory board, with representatives from the medical and criminal justice fields, as well as the public. The function of this board will be to advise on policy, as well as review significant cases.

What matters should elected coroners handle as opposed to handing a case over to a deputy coroner? What responsibilities will you assign to a deputy coroner?

A good coroner utilizes deputies as an extension of himself, in order to provide around-the clock coverage, 365 days a year. Like the coroner, deputies are required by law to be certified medico-legal death investigators. As coroner, I will oversee all the work that reflects upon my elected office.

How would you use information gathered on causes of death to raise awareness about public health problems such as drug abuse or other matters?

The current opioid crisis is a good example of how coroners across Indiana can help guide public policy on important issues that can reduce preventable deaths. My office will be engaged in this kind of networking at both the local and state levels.

Paula Rothrock

Political party: Democratic

Age: 57

Occupation: Registered nurse, clinical case manager at Columbus Regional Health

Education: Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, 1989; Indiana University School of Nursing, Associate of Science in Nursing degree, 2001; IU School of Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, 2014; pursuing Master of Science in Nursing degree from Walden University.

Qualifications: Certified emergency nurse, certified pediatric emergency nurse, forensics nurse examiner, sexual assault nurse examiner

Previous elected offices held: None

Previously elected offices sought: None

Community involvement: Special Olympics, Law Enforcement Torch Run; Bartholomew County Domestic Violence Action Team; Bartholomew County Child Death Review Committee; Bartholomew TRIAD; Indiana Emergency Nurses Association board of directors; Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure;  American Legion Auxiliary, former instructor at American Red Cross, serves with Volunteers in Medicine.

Family: Husband, Paul. Four adult children.

Clayton Nolting

Political Party: Republican

Age: 31

Occupation: Columbus police officer

Education: Master of Science degree focused in forensic entomology; Bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and supervision; associate degree in forensic science and sociology.

Qualifications: Certified medico-legal death investigator

Previous elected offices held: None

Previously elected offices sought: None

Community involvement: St. Peter’s Lutheran Church; Leadership Bartholomew County; Diversity Circles; DARE officer; adjunct instructor, Harrison College Criminal Justice program; Polar Plunge for Special Olympics.

Family: Wife, Brelyn

Author photo
Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.