Whitesburg KY

Judge tabs Wallace Bolling to fill rest of coroner’s term

Letcher Judge/Executive Jim Ward has appointed Wallace “Spanky” Bolling Jr. to finish the unexpired term of former Letcher County Coroner John Cornett, who was forced to resign recently after pleading guilty to a drug offense.

Bolling has been a deputy coroner in Letcher County for the past two years and has served as acting coroner while Cornett was under criminal investigation.

“Mr. Bolling has been doing the job of coroner for the past 10 months at little pay and is currently up to date on all of his training,” said Ward. “I think he’ll make a good coroner for Letcher County.”

Bolling, who is an emergency medical technician, has worked for 14 years with the Letcher Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Service. He is also a Kentucky certified firefighter.

“I feel like the experience I have gained the last 10 months has prepared me to serve as coroner,” said Bolling. “I look forward to the opportunity to serve Letcher County.”

Bolling said he will serve the remainder of Cornett’s term, then run for election.

Bolling lives at Blackey with his wife, Tillie, and their four-year-old son, Gavin.

John Cornett pleaded guilty in Letcher Circuit Court on February 11 to seven counts of unlawfully obtaining a prescription for a con trolled substance by fraud, commonly known as “doctor shopping,” according to Shelley Catharine Johnson, deputy communications director in the Attorney General’s office. As part of the plea, Cornett presented his resignation to Ward on Feb. 13.

Cornett’s wife, Andrea, a former nurse at Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital, also pleaded guilty to four counts of theft of a controlled substance.

The Cornetts were indicted in November of 2008.

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