Harrison County coroner faces discrimination lawsuit
A local coroner says he’s ‘colorblind’ when it comes to spending public money at funeral homes, but attorneys for the six black-owned funeral homes say two white-owned companies receive a disproportionate share.
Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove testified Wednesday in the black-owned funeral homes’ discrimination lawsuit against the county and Hargrove.
Hargrove has jurisdiction over bodies that need autopsies that are unclaimed or are without pre-arrangements.
Plaintiff Attorney David Owens said more than 80 percent of county payments from 2012-2016 went to one white-owned funeral home where Hargrove said the county’s forensic pathologist had insisted on performing autopsies. The other white-owned funeral home received most of the remaining funds.