Shawnee County coroner to resign, relocate in New Zealand

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- After serving four years as the Shawnee County coroner, Dr. Charles F.K. Glenn is resigning effective at the end of November, Glenn confirmed on Friday.

Glenn, who also served as forensic pathologist in Shawnee County, said he will move to New Zealand where he will work in the same field.

Glenn, his wife and their children, 9 and 7, will move to Auckland, the largest city in the island nation of New Zealand. Glenn will be employed by the Auckland District Health Board as a forensic pathologist.

"We think it will be a good experience," Glenn said Friday of living in New Zealand.

Before leaving Kansas, Glenn will give video-taped depositions tied to on-going murder cases filed in Shawnee County. The Shawnee County district attorney's office has filed motions in more than a dozen cases to question Glenn about details in the cases. A coroner and forensic pathologist performs an autopsy.

In court, a coroner typically identifies the slaying victim, specifies what wounds or injuries the person suffered, pinpoints what wound or injury killed the victim, pronounces whether he or she was the victim of a homicide, identifies photographs of the victim, and sometimes estimates how long the victim had been dead when the body was found.

If he has to travel to Topeka from New Zealand to testify in a trial, it is a 12-hour flight from that country to the west coast, of the United States, he said.

Glenn said a flap in which three employees of the coroner's office were terminated after they opposed the county's contracting with a private services provider "had nothing to do with" his decision to move and work in New Zealand.

In June 2014, three Shawnee County Commissioners approved a four-year contract with Glenn to serve as coroner and forensic pathologist, performing autopsies.

In April 2015, county commissioners voted to privatize the coroner's office and to receive services from Mid-America Forensic Pathology, a company owned by Glenn. In 2018, Glenn sold his interests in MAFP to Forensic Medical Holdings.

Shawnee County counselor Jim Crowl said Shawnee County is talking to FMH about contracting with FMH for coroner services. In June, the Shawnee County Commission entered a one-and-a-half year contract with FMH. FMH provides coroner services to other jurisdictions, including Wyandotte County.

Before appointment as Shawnee County coroner and pathologist , Glenn did a fellowship in forensic pathology from 2012 to 2013 at the Miami-Dade County (Fla.) Medical Examiner's office.

Before that, he completed a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology from 2008 to 2012 at the University of Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Glenn taught at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Glenn received a medical doctorate in 2008 from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., and a bachelor's degree in biology in 2002 from Kansas State University.

Consisting of two large islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is about 900 miles east of Australia. That country's capital is Wellington, and New Zealand's population is 4.8 million.

New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy led by Queen Elizabeth II and is a parliamentary democracy.