Judge considers removing Ohio coroner facing suits

CINCINNATI (AP) — A judge considering whether to remove a southern Ohio coroner from office has heard testimony but will wait to make a ruling.

Brown County coroner Judith Varnau (var-NOH') is accused of mishandling death scenes and abandoning evidence amid her husband's political feud with a county sheriff.

Varnau denies the allegations and says she handles cases professionally.

A judge heard testimony Thursday in a lawsuit against Varnau, whose county is about 40 miles southeast of Cincinnati. The lawsuit was filed by a couple who question Varnau's decision to rule their son's January death a suicide.

The couple's attorney, Tracy Hawkins, says the judge expects to issue a ruling next week.

The lawsuit is separate from another suit filed in federal court accusing Varnau of mishandling death investigations.