GREENFIELD — The Hancock County Republican Party tapped Dan Devoy to fill the interim coroner position after a single round of votes at Monday night’s caucus.
Devoy assumes the role vacated in late August by Tamara Vangundy, who was prohibited from holding the office after accepting a plea agreement in her drunken-driving case.
Vangundy was arrested in May after she showed up impaired to a death investigation scene.
Devoy handily defeated five other candidates, taking 31 of 42 votes. Tying for second with four votes each were Rudy Nylund, Vangundy’s second in command who has been overseeing the office for the past month, and retired sheriff’s deputy Bobby Robinson.
David McWhorter, a funeral director, took two votes, and Joe Fortner, a paramedic, received one vote. Crystel Myers, the lone Democrat to throw her hat in the ring, did not receive any votes.
Both Devoy and Fortner are Republicans running as independents in the fall against Myers. All three filed after Vangundy’s arrest, citing concern for the public trust.
Devoy, 58, of Greenfield, works as a field officer for Hancock County Community Corrections and is a reserve sheriff’s deputy for the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. Devoy has seven years’ experience as a deputy coroner, and Monday’s appointment marks his second term as an interim coroner. He was appointed to fulfill the last year of former coroner John Jester’s term in 2008 when Jester was promoted to Greenfield police chief.
Devoy lost to Vangundy in the 2008 primary and did not work as a deputy during her term, which began in 2009.
His state certification to work as a coroner has lapsed, but he said he has already confirmed it will be reinstated based on his experience.
Each candidate was given five minutes to explain their qualifications before the first vote was taken.
Devoy said restoring trust to the coroner’s office is one of his top priorities.
While accepting congratulations from his fellow party members, he expressed surprise at how quickly the vote came
“I was very surprised,” Devoy said. “I expected to have multiple rounds. I know the competition, and it was tough.”