A couple of hours after the County Commission discussed reports that Pulaski County Coroner Gary Carmack wasn't "showing up for calls," Carmack announced on social media that he would be resigning the position. In a turnabout, over night Tuesday night, Carmack announced, in a public post, on his Facebook page that he would not be resigning.
Carmack never formally resigned with the county, he only announced it publicly in a couple of places on Facebook.
All of this is following the regular meeting of the Pulaski County Commission on Monday where commissioners expressed concerns over reports from agencies that Carmack had not been answering calls for the coroner at deaths in the county.
Carmack said, in his most recent Facebook post, "I am remaining as coroner and I am asking to be placed on the agenda at the next commission meeting to answer the accusations, of which very much lack veracity."
The Daily Guide recorded the County Commission meeting on Facebook Live and the video is available to view at www.facebook.com/WaynesvilleDailyGuide.
Western District Commissioner Rick Zweerink brought the issue up during the meeting, saying that he had been told several different times about the issue.
"It's been brought to my attention several times by officials here in the county that they call the coroner and he won't respond. You can't get him no where, shape, or form. He won't respond to nothing. Now, they're asking what we can do. We've got a problem guys," Zweerink said.
An incident in which Presiding Commissioner Gene Newkirk said a deputy was left with a body for a couple of hours waiting for a response from Carmack was discussed at length.
Commissioners also said other agencies, besides the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department, are reporting that the coroner isn't responding to calls.
There was some discussion about whether there were deputy coroners that could be called, but the commission was unaware of any individuals who had been officially named deputy coroners.
Carmack, in his announcement to remain as coroner, said he would be appointing St. Robert Fire Chief Mike Shempert as a deputy coroner. Shempert is also an EMT.
Pulaski County Sheriff Jimmy Bench confirmed the commissioners report saying that he was aware of three recent calls where Carmack didn't respond and he was also unaware of anyone officially named as a deputy coroner. Bench said he had fielded calls from other agencies who were unable to reach Carmack so had called Bench instead.
The agenda for the Pulaski County Commission meeting scheduled for Thursday morning at 9 a.m. has Carmack on it under old and new business.
The Daily Guide will be attending the meeting and will Facebook Live it if we are able. Facebook Live video depends on the reliability of wifi connection.