GULPORT, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi coroner says he’s “colorblind” when it comes to spending public money at funeral homes, but attorneys for six black-owned funeral homes say two white-owned companies receive a disproportionate share.
The Sun Herald reports 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, 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.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
- Trump’s shifting explanations follow a familiar playbook
- In America's fastest-growing metro, a rising fear water will run out
- The coming California megastorm
- The fabulously wealthy are fueling a booming luxury ranch market out West
- Anne Heche, TV, film and stage actor, dies at 53 from injuries sustained in L.A. car crash
Owens said numbers showed black funeral homes continued to be left out after the pathologist died in 2015.
Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com