DAHLONEGA, Ga. –Lumpkin County Coroner Jim Sheppard has been named Coroner of the Year for the state of Georgia by the Georgia Coroners Association.
Sheppard received the AR King Award from the 2017 recipient Danny Galpin of Houston County during the Coroner’s Association annual meeting in Macon over the weekend.
It marked the second year in a row the Lumpkin County Coroner’s Office has taken home a top honor from the annual gathering. Deputy Coroner Frank Goss was selected Assistant Coroner of the Year last year. It marks the first time that any Georgia county has taken home top honors in back-to-back years.
“I am thrilled and very excited,” Sheppard said Sunday. “This is definitely a team effort. When I first became coroner, (County Manager) Stan Kelley and (Commission Chairman) Chris Dockery told to let them know what I need and they would get it and they have been true to their word. (Sheriff) Stacy Jarrard has been a wonderful mentor. Having their guidance has been an absolute blessing.”
Sheppard was elected in 2016 to replace Ronald Fortner, who was convicted felony theft by taking and violation of public oath of office. He and Goss quickly went to work to establish a reputation of honesty and integrity.
“The office did have a black eye we had to battle back from,” Sheppard said. “But, thanks to lot of help from a lot of people, we’ve managed to build better relations with the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation.”
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