LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The coroner for Lauderdale County has officially resigned from his office, effective February 1.
According to court records, George “Butch” Tucker signed a letter informing the courts of his resignation on Monday, January 31. Tucker was in the process of being impeached by the state of Alabama over allegations that he neglected his duties as coroner.
The Lauderdale County Probate Judge’s office confirmed Mike Bishop will serve as the new coroner on Tuesday. He will do so until Governor Kay Ivey appoints a new coroner.
In November 2021, a Lauderdale County grand jury indicted Tucker for neglecting his job responsibilities following several complaints from families regarding their loved one’s toxicology results and death certificates.
“There were a number of cases where he either was supposed to draw tox or draw blood and submit it to the lab, and just didn’t do it and other cases where he drew the blood and then delayed one case as long as 7 months before submitting it,” District Attorney Chris Connolly explained to News 19. “So, you know what that does to families, maybe you have a child that had a drug overdose, some of these are drug overdose cases – and it just exacerbates the trauma of losing a loved one and not knowing exactly why.”
In his letter, Tucker said he gave the decision a lot of thought and prayer.
“It is with great sorrow that I tender my resignation,” Tucker wrote. “However, I feel that my resignation is in the best interest of Lauderdale County and my family.”
“Please let me know what I can do to make this transition as smooth as possible,” the letter continued. “I would like to thank the citizens of Lauderdale County for the opportunity to be able to serve them as coroner for the past three years.”
As a consequence of Tucker’s resignation, the State has moved to dismiss the impeachment case against him.
“The trial will not happen. Our goal of the trial was to get him out of office and now that he’s resigned, we won’t have to have a jury trial,” said Connolly to News 19. “We just want a coroner who does his job, and you know, that wasn’t happening in this case and so that created additional trauma for people who lost their loved ones on a number of levels.”
Court documents show a jury trial for Tucker is still scheduled for February 10 in Lauderdale County.