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Election 2018: Field Houghlin files for another term as Nelson County coroner

NC GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 — Longtime Nelson County Coroner Rayfield “Field” Houghlin has filed to run again as a candidate for coroner in the May primary.

RAYFIELD “FIELD” HOUGHLIN

Houghlin, who served many years as first deputy coroner, has served several terms as county coroner. He filed to run as a Democrat.

No other candidates have yet filed for county coroner in the May primary election.

Four years ago, the Republican candidate for coroner filed an ethics complaint against Houghlin stating the violated the nepotism portions of the county ethics ordinance after he hired his daughter to serve as deputy coroner. In statements to the media, Houghlin said there was no intent to violate the ordinance, and that Judge Executive Dean Watts had approved appointing his daughter, who had completed the required training to serve as deputy coroner.

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In June 2014, the ethics board ruled that Houghlin did indeed violate the county’s ethics rules against nepotism, and he was fined and reprimanded. The board also sought to have Houghlin repay the county the money it paid his daughter for her training expenses and the money she was paid in her service as deputy coroner.

In July 2014, Nelson Fiscal Court rejected part of the ethics board’s recommendation. The court voted 4-1 to fine Houghlin $1,000 for violating the nepotism section of the county’s ethics ordinance but rejected the recommendation to have Houghlin reimburse the county for his daughter’s salary and training expense.

The last day to file as a candidate for an office in the May 2018 primary is 4 p.m. Jan. 30, 2018.

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