State forces Lake County coroner out of funeral home business

Problem Solvers

A sign for Everett Family Funeral Home.

LEADVILLE, Colo. (KDVR) — The elected coroner of Lake County can no longer participate in the funeral or cremation business in Colorado. Shannon Kent signed a stipulation with the state of Colorado on Tuesday that forces him to no longer own and operate his six funeral home businesses located in several mountain town across Colorado.

The agreement follows a FOX31 Problem Solvers investigation on Nov. 5 that highlighted potential ethical and criminal allegations against Kent.

The state stipulation obtained by the Problem Solvers references the cremains of a stillborn child highlighted in the Nov. 5 story. The order states, “Upon analysis, the cremains were found to contain elements of a perinatal human infant, bone fragments of an older/larger individual and metal.”

Kent was indicted by a grand jury in September 2019 for official misconduct after he was accused of allowing his wife to act as a deputy coroner without any certification.

Lake County sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at his Leadville funeral home on Oct. 2, 2020 where, according to the stipulation, “The Sheriff’s Department found the premises to be in an unsanitary condition and with the presence of biological waste. The Sheriff Department also found a decedent that was not properly refrigerated, unlabeled cremains, improperly wrapped bodies in refrigeration without identifying paperwork, and paperwork scattered on the floor of the business office.”

Kent was elected as a Democrat to be Lake County coroner in 2014 and reelected in 2018. His agreement to cease all funeral home operations does not stop him from continuing to serve as the Lake County coroner.

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