GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — There are 40 offices or measures on the ballot this November, one of them is the Mesa County Coroner; meet Dean Havlik.
Havlik has lived in Mesa County for just over twenty years. “This is certainly our home now.” Havlik told KREX,” We don’t plan on leaving.” Havlik has a wife and two daughters who still live in Mesa County.
As for what qualifies Havlik for the job? “I was elected coroner for Mesa County for 12 years before I was term-limited in January 2019,” Havlik said. He went on to say that he is the only forensic pathologist here in Western Colorado. The American Board of Medical Specialties confirms Havlik is a board-certified Forensic Pathologist. However, KREX could not confirm that he is the only one in Western Colorado.
If Havlik is elected he has a few changes planned for the coroner’s office.
“I plan on bringing back everything local,” Havlik said. Mainly, what he is referencing is having a forensic pathologist back in the Mesa County Coroner’s Office. This is something both Havlik and Meaghan Johnson agree on. However, they have different paths to reach said goal.
“If a forensic pathologist is available that person really should almost always be the coroner,” said Havlik. Johnson, his opponent, disagrees. She cites concerns about possible conflicts of interest if the forensic pathologist and coroner are the same person. Forensic Pathologists often take contracts with local hospitals and counties. If a business the forensic pathologist works for is implicated in a death and that forensic pathologist is the coroner doing the autopsy johnson says that would be a conflict of interest. Havlik told KREX he currently works for several counties on the western slope, including Delta, Garfield, Moffat, and Montrose counties.
When asked about possible conflicts of interest Havlick said,” There really is no conflict of interest that I see.” Then said he plans to continue working for other counties if elected Mesa County Coroner.
Make sure you read up on the other candidate vying for the Mesa County Coroner’s office (D) Meaghan Johnson. Click here to learn about her.