Donnie Crawford has only served a little more than six months of his second term as McDuffie County coroner, but on Aug. 5 that will come to an early end. Mr. Crawford turned in his letter of resignation to county officials on July 13.
Mr. Crawford - who had just started his second term in January - had been in the news in recent weeks claiming his salary was not up to par with other counties of similar size. But he said the reason for resigning was his busy work schedule.
"I'm at the point to where I won't be able to dedicate the time that it's supposed to have," said Mr. Crawford who is manager of Crawford, Pinkston and Roberts Funeral Home in Thomson as well as working for Augusta State Medical Prison. "The coroner calls for a lot of attention, and I don't want to deprive the citizens."
McDuffie County Manager Don Norton said the proximity of Mr. Crawford's resignation to the complaints about his salary could leave the impression that his reason for leaving has something to do with his pay.
"You kind of sense that that had something to do with it, but you also sense that that's not the primary reason," Mr. Norton said.
Deputy Coroner Rhusha Mack will temporarily take over Mr. Crawford's duties, according to Mr. Norton. He said within a few weeks the probate court judge will appoint someone to fill the remaining three and a half years of Mr. Crawford's unexpired term.
Mr. Mack, a fireman with the Martinez Fire Department, said he would be interested in throwing his name in the hat for that appointment, but that he would be content with whatever officials choose to do.
"Whoever he appoints is fine, but if he appointed me, I could do the job," Mr. Mack said. "I'm already doing it. I know a good bit of the ins and outs of the job."
A history of regional cooperation between surrounding counties will fill in the blanks when Mr. Mack is unable to respond to calls, Mr. Norton said. In the past few months, Warren County's coroner and deputy coroner have responded to several calls in McDuffie County.