Auditors Urge Shutting West Virginia Funeral Examiners Board

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Auditors say West Virginia’s Board of Funeral Service Examiners fails to protect the public against unscrupulous operators who improperly pocket payments and should be disbanded.

The Legislature’s auditors cite four cases in the past few years where they say the board delayed for many months suspending or revoking funeral directors’ licenses despite evidence they had taken customers’ money that should be held in trust.

Performance Evaluation and Research Division Director John Sylvia writes that lawmakers should consider removing the board’s oversight function to another state agency, or else replace all board members and ensure that two have no working ties to the funeral industry.

Board Executive Director Regina Anderson says board attorneys have advised them not to take disciplinary actions without formal complaints and wait for criminal convictions before acting.