Politics

LA County Coroner's Office underfunded, could lose accreditation, report says

File: A Los Angeles County Coroner van arrives at a home in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 31, 2015.
File: A Los Angeles County Coroner van arrives at a home in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 31, 2015.
Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP

A civil grand jury report released Thursday says that problems at the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office are due to underfunding.

The report says that the coroner's office is "significantly understaffed in both coroner investigator and laboratory positions, has a sobering backlog in toxicology testing" and that if those problems aren't addressed, the office could lose its accreditation.

The office could still function without being accredited, but the report says it could subject the office and the County to "attacks on their credibility in criminal cases." The national certifying board says that coroner's work on each case has to be completed within 90 days, but the L.A. County Coroner's Office regularly exceeds that, according to the report.

The coroner announced that he was resigning from the office due to the lack of resources on March 11.

The Coroner's Office regularly has more than 400 bodies stored in its crypt, according to the report.

The report also recommends combining the coroner's office with the Office of Decedent Affairs, but not until the coroner's office itself is "sufficiently staffed."

Read the full report below:

full report