Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Nancy Jones' retirement Tuesday, along with a host of other changes within the department in response to a series of scandals stemming from alleged mismanagement within the morgue and medical examiner's office.
Jones took heat in January after news broke that the county morgue was "double-stacking bodies" to cope with overcrowding and a lack of state funding, according to Jones. At the time, Preckwinkle warned that she "expect[ed] people to lose their jobs," but Jones' position wasn't threatened before her retirement was announced Tuesday, effective July 31.
While Jones tendered her own resignation, the Chicago Tribune reports that four employees of the medical examiner's office have been fired since the incident was brought to light earlier this year.
Back in January, Preckwinkle assigned senior staff to observe the morgue daily for overcrowding issues. But on Tuesday, Preckwinkle also released a more long-term oversight plan that includes additional training for existing employees.
"While the management transition is taking place, deputy chiefs from the Bureau of Administration (BOA) will supervise the ongoing updates and improvements in the areas of personnel, policy and procedure," Preckwinkle said in a release. Employees will also begin safety training this week at Stroger Hospital and be screened for infectious diseases on-site.
Additionally, the Bureau of Administration has submitted a grant application requesting $175,000 to update the Medical Examiner's office's record keeping to an electronic case management system, according to a release from Preckwinkle's office.
Earlier this year, county commissioners added a five-year term limit to the medical examiner position, which was held indefinitely by Jones and her predecessors, according to ABC Chicago.
More changes could be on the way: Cook County's independent inspector general is conducting a similar probe of working conditions at the morgue, and a report detailing those findings could be released as early as this week, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
WATCH Preckwinkle introduce her overhaul of the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office in January:
More:Nancy Jones Resigns Cook County Medical Examiner Resigns Cook County Morgue Cook County Medical Examiner Retires Bodies Cook County Morgue
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