Niagara County Legislature Community Safety and Security Committee Chairman Paul Wojtaszek, R-North Tonawanda, issued the following statement regarding actions that have been taken concerning the Niagara County Coroner's Office and specifically affecting calls in the 4th District:
"I have been in regular consultation with Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour, along with the county manager, the county attorney, and the director of public health, and determined that allegations raised against 4th District Coroner Russell Jackman required the following steps, which were initiated on Friday, April 27:
"During the pendency of the criminal charges, Mr. Jackman will be temporarily interdicted from taking calls for coroner services in the 4th District and throughout Niagara County. The Legislature is cognizant of the concerns raised any time an elected official is accused of misconduct, and we believe these measures to be reasonable and prudent to protect the public trust.
"Accordingly, any calls originating in the 4th District will be directed to 3rd District Coroner Kenneth V. Lederhouse. Ken is our senior coroner, and as such has our full confidence. He will coordinate with our two other coroners to ensure all calls are answered in a timely manner.
"I want to thank our other coroners for their professionalism in this matter. Ken Lederhouse, in particular, has stepped up to ensure that this important public function continues to operate, and does so in a dignified manner.
"I will make one request directly to the media, however: The event that precipitated this matter was the tragic loss of a life. It is my hope that the media will consider the grief of the family of the deceased and be mindful and respectful of that in its coverage and its pursuit of this story."