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Bacha seeks fourth term as Westmoreland coroner

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Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Bacha has held the position of Westmoreland County coroner nearly 36 years.

Ken Bacha would like to see his family's dynasty hit four decades.

The 52-year-old Democrat from Greensburg announced this week he would seek a fourth term in office. His father, Leo, served 24 years as coroner before retiring in 2002.

Ken Bacha is one of three remaining Democratic row officers in the county as Republicans seized control of the courthouse two years ago.

“I hope people vote for candidates for the right reason regardless of their party,” Bacha said.

As coroner, Bacha said he oversaw an office that has had its case-load jump from about 1,300 deaths in 2002 to nearly 2,300 last year.

Bacha also instituted a policy to conduct inquests into all police-involved shootings, something he said he will continue during a fourth term.

“It puts everything out in the open, no matter how it goes or how bad an officer's shooting can look. I'm going to put it out in the open,” Bacha said.

Autopsies will continue to be farmed out to outside pathologists, he said. Dr. Cyril Wecht in Pittsburgh has for decades performed the autopsies for Westmoreland County.

During his first 11 years in office, Bacha said he has computerized records, publicized office findings on social media Internet sites and, along with his four full-time deputies, obtained a national certification as a medicolegal death investigator.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293.

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