E-mail interview conducted with Walker County Coroner canddates Don Richie and DeWayne Wilson. Wilson is the incumbent. Ninth of twelve scheduled Q&A’s.

    Due to today being election day, these remaining four interviews are posted with limited editorial commentary.

LU: What is your full name, and what name do you generally go by?

    RICHIE: Donald R. Richie- (Don)

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: What is your age?

    RICHIE: 74

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: What is your home address? (We will only publish the street/town, not your house number.)

    RICHIE: McCarter Road, LaFayette

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: How can voters contact you or stay in touch with your campaign?

LU: How long have you lived in the county, and (if applicable) where else have you lived?

    RICHIE: 38 years

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: What’s the best thing about living in this community?

    RICHIE: It’s a small town where you can be personal with a lot of friends.

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: Starting as early as you want, what kind of education do you have?

    RICHIE: High School Diploma, 10 years as a volunteer fireman, one year as Fire Chief in Little Creek, Delaware (Schooling with state of Delaware fire school)

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: What is your current occupation? (Richie only)

    RICHIE: Chief Investigator for State Court Solicitor

LU:What is your current occupation, outside of being Coroner? (Wilson only)

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: What previous jobs or elected positions have you held?

    RICHIE: Terminal Manager for Cocomaco Trucking Current Position as Chief Investigator for State Court Solicitor

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: Will/do aspects of your education or job experiences will make you a better Coroner? If so please explain.

    RICHIE: Yes, my ten years as a volunteer fireman provided me with a variety of experiences in dealing with the public. This act of service also provided me experience in consoling grieving families.

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: What would you say is the greatest accomplishment of the sitting Coroner, and is there anything your opponent has done during his time in office that you intend to emulate? (Richie only)

    RICHIE: I am not aware of any “great” accomplishment of the current coroner. The community is dissatisfied with the way the coroner is handling his responsibilities and I intend to provide kind, courteous and professional service to the citizens of Walker County.

During your time as Coroner, what would you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: What would you say is the biggest failure of the sitting Coroner, and what actions of your opponent would you have done differently? (Richie only)

    RICHIE: Failure to expedite paperwork in a timely manner appears to be a major concern of the citizens of Walker County. I plan on making death certificates available to family members as quickly as possible and will be as close as a phone call

Is there anything from your time in office that you regret or wish you could do differently? (Wilson only)

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: What are your priorities for the next four years if you’re elected/reelected?

    RICHIE: 1. To ensure that the office of Walker County Coroner runs as smoothly and effectively as possible. 2. Death certificates will be available to family members in a timely manner. 3. If elected, I will have no conflict of interest. My duties and responsibilities as Coroner will have my full attention with no other monetary interest or reward.

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: Is there any criteria, philosophy, or overall guideline you will use/use when making decisions for the Coroner’s office?

    RICHIE: I will act in a professional and respectful manner when discharging the duties as Coroner.

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: The job of Coroner can be difficult at times, and we understand doesn’t pay particularly well. Please explain, in as much detail as you can, the reasons you wish to remain Walker County Coroner: (Wilson Only)

    WILSON: [No Response]
    This question was not worded properly for Mr. Richie to answer and was omitted from his responses. Failure on our end, not his.

LU: Please summarize in a single paragraph why residents of Walker County should vote for you in the upcoming election:

    RICHIE: I feel there is a need for change in the Office of Walker County Coroner. If elected, I promise to be courteous, considerate, respectful and compassionate to the family of the deceased while discharging my duties as Coroner. The Coroner’s job will have my full attention and I will work quickly to complete the needed paperwork. I want to help families in their time of need.

    WILSON: [No Response]

LU: Is there anything else voters should know about you? Family, faith, philosophy, inspirations, etc.?

    RICHIE: I have been married to Ellen Richie for 38 years. She and I have three daughters, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great grand children. I attend Rock Spring United Methodist Church. I am a member of The LaFayettte Lions Club. I served in the United States Air Force for 4 years. I also enjoy singing for senior citizens at local nursing homes and other community events. Thank you for inquiring about my campaign and political interest in serving Walker County as Coroner.

    WILSON: [No Response]

Mr. Richie isn’t especially qualified to be coroner, but he meets the job’s very minimal requirements for residency and age. One area where he’s likely more qualified than the incumbent is in ethics. Sitting coroner DeWayne Wilson is uethical, dishonest, and by many accounts gets in no hurry to produce needed documents when requested.

The above statements and our opposition to DeWayne Wilson can be explained thusly: He was involved in the Tri-State Crematory investigation and recovery despite his family owning four of the funeral homes that had sent bodies there. That was a conflict of interest and inappropriate, leading to his tampering with evidence to keep bodies from 1996 and earlier from being found or identified.

Wilson was also one of the primary accusers against Tonya Craft. She sued him after winning her case, saying he drummed up the charges because she held his daughter back in Kindergarten. The suit was dropped without prejudice when she regained custody of her child, but Wilson has never explained his actions or offered a public defense for his role in the abuse of justice.

Remember that when you go to vote.

In this race The LaFayette Underground STRONGLY endorses anybody except DeWayne Wilson. Don Richie matches that criteria.

Walker County Messenger: DeWayne Wilson (2008) | 2012 Candidate’s Forum

Elections are next Tuesday, July 31, from 7 AM to 7 PM. LaFayette residents will vote at the Walker Co Senior Center, voting locations for other residents vary. Early voting has ended.


Last week the Underground e-mailed candidates for 12 competitive local races (all except County Surveyor) a series of questions. Candidates who have no opponent on the July ballot were not included; those with opposition in November will be contacted before the November vote.

Candidates were asked to respond to the questions via e-mail by a certain deadline, and were instructed not to share their answers with each other before we made them public. Every candidate in the same race was given the same set of questions except where noted above.

Candidates who did not respond by the deadline have [no response] after their name for each question asked, and candidates who responded but chose to skip certain questions are marked [no response]. Responses received after this point will not be accepted for a full post, but candidates are welcome to add to their responses, answer questions, or respond to our opinions in the comment section below.

Answers are copied directly from e-mail without corrections or changes except for redaction of addresses. Redactions or any editorial clarifications of questions or answers are made in [brackets]. Our thoughts are in italics beneath the responses.

Additional Q&A responses will be posted up until election day.

All LaFayette Underground 2012 Election Posts

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