Former opponents become allies in cause

GREENFIELD — Just a few short months ago, they sat beside each other at a debate table, hats tossed into the same race to be the county’s next elected coroner.

Their experiences and promises were similar: each had prior experience working for the office, each touted an administrative, medical or investigative background that would serve the office well; and each vowed to be a more visible and trustworthy officeholder than the coroners who came before them.

David Stillinger was top Republican vote-getter in the May primary and then ran unopposed in the November General Election, but he immediately moved forward with plans to include two of his GOP competitors as members of his staff.

Dan Devoy and Rudy Nylund, who each challenged Stillinger in the Republican primary, will be essential members of the coroner’s office going forward.

Stillinger’s chief deputy will be Devoy, a 17-year veteran of local law enforcement who works full time as a field officer for Hancock County Community Corrections, has more than eight years of experience working in the local coroner’s office as a deputy. He also twice served as interim coroner after the elected officeholders vacated their seats early.

Devoy will oversee the investigative side of the office, Stillinger said, leading a team of deputy coroners that includes retired Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer David Carver; and Nylund, the assistant fire chief for Buck Creek Township Fire Department who served as chief deputy coroner under the two previous officeholders.

Former deputy coroner Tammy Vangundy was not asked to remain on staff; Stillinger’s predecessor, Crystel Myers, did not run for re-election and also will not join the office going forward.

Stillinger said he looks forward to a new year with a new team of professionals. The prime reason for the appointments of Devoy and Nylund was the unmatched experience they can bring to the office, Stillinger said.

Devoy said he’s eager to again be heavily involved with coroner’s office. He said he believes Stillinger will be the figurehead the department needs to win respect in the community.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or