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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 400
Officers; manner of selection; term; vacancies
County (CNT) CHAPTER 11, ARTICLE 8
§ 400. Officers; manner of selection; term; vacancies. 1. Elective.
There shall be elected a sheriff, county clerk, district attorney and
county treasurer. Except in the county of Lewis, coroners shall continue
to be elected as now provided by law until the office is abolished or
the number is increased or diminished pursuant to the provisions of this
chapter. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the term of office
of each such officer shall continue to be three years, except that the
terms of office of sheriff, county clerk, county treasurer and coroner
shall be four years from and including the first day of January next
succeeding his election. There shall be elected a county judge,
surrogate, and judge of the family court as now or hereafter provided by
law. The term of office of each such judicial officer shall be ten years
from and including the first day of January next succeeding his
election.

1-a. District attorney in counties outside of New York city. The term
of office of the district attorney of each county outside of New York
city shall be for four years commencing on the first day of January
following the general election for district attorney in each respective
county.

2. Coroners. At least one hundred fifty days prior to any general
election and subject to a permissive referendum, the board of
supervisors shall have power by local law to abolish the office of
coroner and create the office of medical examiner. The terms of office
of all coroners elected or appointed and holding office in the county at
the time such local law becomes effective shall expire upon the
appointment and qualification of the medical examiner and at the general
election to be held in such year and thereafter no coroners shall be
elected in the county.

3. At least one hundred fifty days prior to any general election and
subject to a permissive referendum, the board of supervisors shall have
power by local law to change the number of coroners to be elected to not
less than one nor more than four. The board may divide the county into
districts bounded by city or town lines and provide for the election of
one coroner in each district. The terms of office of all coroners
elected or appointed and holding office in the county at the time such
local law becomes effective shall expire on the December thirty-first
following. At the general election to be held in the year such local law
becomes effective, one or more coroners shall be elected in the county
as provided by such local law.

3-a. Coroner in Lewis county. All the powers and duties of the office
of coroner of the county of Lewis are hereby transferred to the office
of district attorney of such county, and the district attorney of such
county shall exercise and perform all the powers and duties of the
office of coroner of such county. The district attorney shall be
entitled to such additional fees or compensation from the county for
performance of duties as coroner as shall be fixed by the board of
supervisors, and his reasonable and necessary expenses in the
performance of the duties of such office shall be a county charge. The
provisions of this section shall not have the effect under section ten
of the municipal home rule law to permit any county, other than Lewis
county as herein prescribed, to change, amend or supersede, by local
law, any provisions of this chapter.

3-b. Coroner in Madison county. The office of coroner is hereby
re-established in Madison county. All the powers and duties of the
office of coroner of the county of Madison are hereby transferred to the
office of district attorney of such county, and the district attorney of
such county shall exercise and perform all the powers and duties of the
office of coroner of such county. The district attorney shall be
entitled to such additional fees or compensation from the county for
performance of duties as coroner as shall be fixed by the board of
supervisors, and his reasonable and necessary expenses in the
performance of the duties of such office shall be a county charge. The
provisions of this section shall not have the effect under section ten
of the municipal home rule law to permit any county, other than Madison
county as herein prescribed, to change, amend or supersede, by local
law, any provisions of this chapter.

4. (a) Appointive. There shall continue to be appointed in the manner
prescribed by law a clerk of the board of supervisors, a county
attorney, county superintendent of highways, sealer of weights and
measures and county historian. The board of supervisors may by local law
provide for the appointment of additional county officers, define their
powers and duties not inconsistent with law, and fix the term of their
office. No officer appointed for a fixed term shall be removed by the
board during his term without written charges and the opportunity to be
heard.

(b) The chief executive officer of a county public welfare department,
whether referred to as commissioner or by other title, shall be
appointed in accordance with the provisions of section one hundred
sixteen of the social welfare law.

4-a. Medical examiner. The board of supervisors in any county in which
the office of coroner is abolished shall appoint a medical examiner. A
certificate of such appointment shall be filed and recorded in the
office of the county clerk. The medical examiner, before entering upon
the duties of his office, shall take and file the prescribed oath of
office and furnish and file the required undertaking. The medical
examiner shall serve at the pleasure of the board of supervisors and his
appointment may be revoked at any time by resolution of the board of
supervisors and the filing of a certificate of such revocation in the
office of the county clerk. The medical examiner shall be a resident of
the county and a physician duly licensed to practice his profession in
the state of New York and shall be a person determined by the board of
supervisors as qualified to perform an autopsy and dissect dead bodies
of human beings.

4-b. Coroner's physician. Except in counties where the office of
coroner has been abolished, the board of supervisors may appoint one or
more coroner's physicians or may provide by local law for the
appointment of one or more coroner's physicians, and may fix the terms
of their office. In any county in which the coroner or any of the
coroners is not a physician duly licensed to practice medicine in this
state, the board shall appoint one or more coroner's physicians.

Each coroner's physician appointed pursuant to this subdivision shall
by virtue of his office be a deputy coroner and shall possess the powers
and perform the duties of the coroner, during the absence or inability
of the coroner to act, or in the event of a vacancy in the office of
coroner.

5. Certificate of election or appointment. Upon filing in the office
of the county clerk a certificate of election or appointment of any
officer, together with the oath of office and official undertaking
prescribed by law, the county clerk shall execute and deliver to such
officer a certificate stating that he or she has duly qualified and is
entitled to assume the duties of his or her office. On or before the
tenth day of January in each year and thereafter within five days after
any subsequent appointment is made, the clerk of the board of
supervisors shall file in the office of the county clerk a certificate
showing the names of all officers of the county appointed by the board
and the amount of the official undertaking, if any, required in each
case. On or before the fifteenth day of January in each year and
thereafter within five days after any person is elected or appointed to
any office within the county, the county clerk shall file in the office
of the executive department of the state a certificate showing the name
of each person so elected or appointed who has duly qualified and,
within the same time periods, file the name of any person appointed to
the office of director of real property tax services with the
commissioner of taxation and finance.

6. Notice of vacancy in office. Within ten days after any vacancy
occurs as prescribed by section thirty of the public officers law, the
county clerk shall give notice thereof to the governor when the power of
appointment is vested in the governor and to the board of supervisors
when the power of appointment is vested in said board.

7. Filling of vacancies. Except as hereinafter provided, a vacancy in
an elective county office, shall be filled by the governor by
appointment and for the office of sheriff with the advice and consent of
the senate if in session. When a vacancy shall occur, otherwise than by
expiration of term in the office of county judge, surrogate, or judge of
the family court, it shall be filled for a full term at the next general
election held not less than three months after such vacancy occurs and,
until the vacancy shall be so filled, the governor by and with the
advice and consent of the senate, if the senate shall be in session, or,
if the senate not be in session, the governor may fill such vacancy by
an appointment which shall continue until and including the last day of
December next after the election at which the vacancy shall be filled. A
vacancy in the office of coroner shall be filled by the board of
supervisors. Such officer shall hold office until and including the
thirty-first day of December succeeding the first annual election at
which the vacancy can be filled by election. A person appointed to fill
a vacancy in an office named in the constitution shall receive the same
compensation that was fixed for the office for the most recent elective
term. The board of supervisors shall fill any vacancy in an appointive
county office for the unexpired term as prescribed by law.