The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating allegations of official misconduct against York County Coroner Doug McKown, a SLED spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.
The case, which dates back to June 2005, originally was requested by the 16th circuit solicitor's office. SLED spokeswoman Bobbi Schlatterer said the case pertains to the possible mishandling of evidence and remains active.
Few details have been released about the investigation, but Schlatterer said SLED is working with the state attorney general's office on the case.
Generally speaking, she said, when SLED presents a case to prosecutors, those attorneys review that information and occasionally give the case back to SLED for further investigation.
Schlatterer declined to comment further.
McKown, 39, was acquitted of three cocaine charges May 24 but was convicted of unlawfully possessing a prescription drug, a misdemeanor offense. He had been suspended from office since July 2006 after he was indicted on felony cocaine charges.
But last month's misdemeanor conviction wasn't enough to keep him out of office. McKown resumed the coroner's duties Monday.
That same day, the state attorney general's office issued a written opinion saying McKown legally could go back to his elected post.
McKown referred questions about the misconduct in office investigation to his attorney, Jack Swerling.
Swerling said Wednesday that he knew of the investigation, but he thought the case had been closed.
"I have not heard of any kind of active investigation going on," he said. "This is news to me."
McKown told The Herald in 2006 that he thought the misconduct in office investigation may have stemmed from a case in April 2005, when a York Technical College instructor was found dead at his home after suffering a heart attack.
McKown said he couldn't immediately find the man's family, and the man had a lot of valuable property in his home, including more than 100 guns.
To secure the man's belongings, McKown said, he hired a company to collect the items, take an inventory of them, package them and take them to the coroner's office.
McKown hired a private investigator who tracked down a cousin in California a few weeks later.
McKown said accusations of impropriety arose from that situation, but he declined to name the accuser at that time. However, he said, the man's family was pleased with how his office handled the case.
McKown has not said if he will try to run for re-election as a petition candidate, although he plans to make an announcement about that subject today at 10 a.m.
To get his name on the November ballot, McKown would have to get at least 5 percent of the county's registered voters to sign a petition asking for his name to be placed on the ticket. That would mean getting more than 5,000 signatures by noon July 15.
The coroner serves a four-year term and is paid an annual salary of $63,521.36.