Judge allows Brown County Coroner Judith Varnau to avoid suspension before May 14 hearing

Attorney: We're disappointed

GEORGETOWN, Ohio -- Brown County Coroner Dr. Judith Varnau will keep her job for at least another few weeks, a judge ruled Friday.

Court officials said visiting Judge John Kessler decided against a request to remove Varnau before a May 14 hearing that will determine if she is fit to work as coroner.

Varnau faces accusations of sloppy work.

Following the decision, attorney Tracy Hawkins said she and other members of the community are "disappointed." Hawkins represents a Brown County husband and wife who say Varnau fumbled their son's death scene investigation .

"We recognize that the standard for granting a temporary suspension of a public official is extremely high," she said. "The full trial will be held in less than three weeks. The focus has always been on the permanent removal of the coroner, and our office will continue its diligent preparation for that trial."

RELATED: Varnau accused of botching 2 death investigations
MORE: Petition to oust Varnau tops required 2,000 signatures

Varnau’s husband Dennis Varnau told WCPO Friday his wife will not comment on the decision because of pending cases she is involved in.

Varnau's suspension hearing came after more than 2,300 county residents signed a petition calling for her removal.

The petition was filed earlier this month with the Brown County Court of Common Pleas after accusations Varnau botched two separate death scene investigations .

The hearing to decide if Varnau should be officially removed from office is set for May 14 at 9:30 a.m.

WCPO's Jesse Folk and Jason Law contributed to this report.

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