COVINGTON, Ga. - Newton County Coroner Dorothea Bailey-Butts took FOX 5 on a tour of the county morgue which she calls a disaster. From mold and mildew to a cooler she says doesn't always work
A county official says they have issued a request for a proposal to fix up the morgue.
We traveled around the block to the county courthouse, where she showed FOX 5 her office that she believes is cramped and full of cremated remains that were left behind.
"Five cremations. Two of them veterans," she said as she showed us the remains.
With keys in envelopes, ready to turn over, and citizen activists looking on, she sat down to tell FOX 5 why she turned in her resignation from her newly elected job as County Coroner. The resignation from earlier this week was set for this Friday morning.
"I'm not asking no nobody to do my job. When I step on the scene I need help," said Bailey-Butts.
It's not the first time Dorothea Bailey-Butts has asked the county for help. The FOX 5 I-Team investigated Dorothea Bailey-Butts back in January.
Sheriff's deputies claimed the brand new coroner, just weeks into the job, arrived at a deadly car wreck, took "a couple of photos" of the decease, left "a body bag on the trunk of the deceased car" and then told police she "was leaving" without transporting the body.
Body cameras caught this exchange:
Deputy: "You don’t have a van?"
Bailey-Butts: "Oh, I don’t transport."
After a call from the sheriff, she returned to transport the body which she continued to do to this day.
Then, more controversy when she dangled an envelope at a county commission meeting, while asking for a budget increase, claiming what was inside would rock Covington's political scene.
"If I open up this envelope I will shut Covington down.," Bailey-Butts said during the meeting.
She never opened the envelope. The county manager filed a petition with the Georgia Coroner's Training Council to have her removed. But nothing happened - until earlier this week when she shocked everyone by announcing her resignation on Facebook.
"One person can not serve 124,000 citizens," said Bailey-Butts.
Then, a startling about-face. In the middle of an interview with FOX 5, Bailey-Butts said she had changed her mind. She was taking back her resignation.
"At the end of the day, I'm here to fight. I will be retracting, resubmitting my, that I'm staying on the job. Mr. Russell after speaking with you, I will be here," said Bailey-Butts.
She said the FOX 5 interview is what caused the flip-flop.
Reporter: "When did you change your mind?"
Bailey-Butts: "When you asked me you look like a woman who loves to do what I do."
The question now, can she take back her resignation? When she resigned, the Newton County Probate Judge immediately issued an order appointing a new coroner this Friday. She sent it to the governor.
Late Thursday, Governor Brian Kemp wrote to Ms. Bailey-Butts that he appreciated her service and was accepting her resignation meaning despite a last-minute change of heart, Dorothea Bailey-Butts will be out of office Friday morning.
FOX 5 tried to get her response, but she did not answer or call or text.
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