Medical examiner resigns under scrutiny

The Union County Board of Supervisors Monday accepted the resignation of long-time medical examiner and investigator Mark Golding. Golding resigned after the State Auditor’s office announced Friday that special agents with that office were investigating Golding for issuing false claims and invoices to Union County to receive payment for death investigations.
With the announcement, came the statement that special agents had seized a $5,000 check from the chancery clerk’s office as proof.
District Attorney Ben Creekmore said Tuesday that he expects the auditor’s office to complete its investigation this week or early next week and when he receives that report the next step will be to present the information to a grand jury. Golding had not been arrested as of Monday and Creekmore said if a grand jury finds enough evidence of a crime it is likely to be considered false pretense.
Supervisors named Baron Baker, one of two presently serving deputy coroners, as interim medical examiner until a special election can be held, probably in November. Rob Anderson, the other deputy coroner, will continue to serve in that capacity.
Not only has Golding held the coroner’s post for several terms, but also served as a city police officer for about 20 years. He recently resigned from the police force after losing the election for police chief to fellow officer Chris Robertson.
The medical examiner is paid a fee for each death investigation and since the state changed from the old coroner’s system to that of medical examiner-investigator, it added to the circumstances under which an investigation is required.
“This is a great example of our auditors uncovering fraud, waste, and abuse during the standard audit process,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “We will continue to hold elected officials accountable in order to protect the taxpayers of Mississippi.”