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The State

January 03, 1988

The Alameda County Grand Jury is investigating allegations made by a former coroner's investigator in Oakland that some coroner employees are stealing money, jewelry and other property from the dead. The former employee, Robert P. Saunder, said two to four coroner's deputies were involved in thefts, the Oakland Tribune reported. Saunder also has testified that at least two coroner employees took drugs at work. Saunder accused county Coroner-Public Administrator George Comte of refusing to take action in suspected cases of wrongdoing. Comte, however, said he has seen "no evidence" that his deputies are involved in theft or drug use. "If we discovered any improprieties, or any improprieties were reported to us, we would take action," Comte said. In 1984, two veteran deputies were convicted and sentenced to eight months in jail for stealing the property of the dead.

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