MARINETTE — The stage is nearly set for Marinette County’s first medical examiner to take office, County Administrator John Lefebvre told the county board’s Public Services Committee on Tuesday.

The committee voted to hold a special meeting before the county board meets Dec. 18 to consider Lefebvre’s appointment of a medical examiner.

The county board voted earlier this year to establish a medical examiner position when the current term of longtime Coroner George Smith ends in January. The board voted in August that the position be fulltime and require a bachelor’s degree in nursing, chemistry, forensic science, criminal justice or a closely related field. In order to ensure attracting qualified applicants by making the position fulltime, the job description calls for the medical examiner to help with public health education and possibly be coordinator of the Teen Court.

“Ken (Keller, chairperson of the Public Services Committee) and I went through the interviews in the last few weeks,” Lefebvre said. “As of today we’ve completed the background check on the top candidate and I’m ready to make an offer. Until I make that offer and get a confirmation, I am not going to announce it.”

Supervisor Ginger Deschane, a member of the committee, said she is worried the new medical examiner won’t be registered with the state in time to take office on Jan. 7.

“Nothing is going to get done until we put the person in office and that isn’t going to happen until January,” Lefebvre said. “In the meantime, the deputies (medical examiners) will have to make it work.”

Lefebvre said Keller and he interviewed five applicants; that a sixth was unable to show up for personal reasons.

The administrator informed the committee that the current deputy coroner positions would be retitled to part-time assistant medical examiners.

“There’s not going to be changes as to the people in the positions,” Lefebvre explained. “If they still have an interest in serving in that capacity, they will be welcome to serve in that capacity.”