The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors chose a new coroner during a closed-door meeting Tuesday, but declined to name the candidate, citing the confidentiality of final salary and contract negotiations.

The last person to hold the post on a permanent basis, Dr. Mark Fajardo, resigned in April 2016, saying a lack of funding and chronic understaffing had led to a massive backlog of bodies awaiting exams and autopsies.

That backlog has been cut from 180 bodies to about 80, with 17 awaiting autopsy in mid-April of this year, the Daily News reported. Increased staffing and overtime hours helped make the difference and to clear an even bigger backlog of toxicology reports.

Despite the heavy workload, the department’s request for additional funding for 2017-18 was denied in the proposed budget presented to the board by Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai in April.

–City News Service

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