Most people get paid to work, but Forsyth County’s newest deputy coroner will pay to do the job.
In a unique set of circumstances, the commission approved a return of compensation document on Tuesday that will allow Stan Rutledge to serve in one of four assistant positions for new coroner Mary Beth Pais.
County Attorney Ken Jarrard explained that since Rutledge is the principal of Forsyth’s contracted ambulance service, the two roles could present a conflict of interest.
“You’ll have Advanced Ambulance on the scene making these calls, the calls could trigger the deputy coroner, your deputy coroner would generate a [per trip fee] and that could be a problem,” Jarrard said. “That was then communicated to Mr. Rutledge, and Mr. Rutledge said, ‘Then I will waive my compensation.’”
Jarrard said removing the payment eliminates that possible conflict, but the compensation must be paid according to state law.
The document approved by the commission allows for Rutledge to be paid and then immediately refund the money to the county, he said.
However, Rutledge will still be taxed on that income, Jarrard said.
Chairman Pete Amos commented at the end of the explanation, “So, he’s going to pay us to be deputy coroner?”
The compensation refund agreement was approved 5-0.
Jarrard said the coroner initially planned on appointing another person, but that fell through.
Rutledge said Wednesday that Pais needed help and he agreed to do it since he’s already had the necessary training.
He said he doesn’t anticipate going out on many calls.