§61-12-7. Medical examiners.
(a) The chief medical examiner shall appoint for each county in the state a county medical examiner to serve for a term of three years under the supervision of the chief medical examiner. A county medical examiner shall be medically trained and licensed by the State of West Virginia as a physician, registered nurse, paramedic, emergency medical technician or a physician assistant, be certified in the practice of medicolegal death investigation. County medical examiners are authorized to establish the fact of death, and to make investigations into all deaths in their respective counties that come within the provisions of §61-2-8 and §61-2-10 of this code and shall in timely fashion record findings of an investigation using forms prescribed by the chief medical examiner. A county medical examiner may be removed from office for cause at any time by the chief medical examiner. Any vacancy in the office of county medical examiner shall be filled by the chief medical examiner. One person may be appointed to serve as county medical examiner for more than one county, and a county medical examiner need not be a resident of the county which he or she serves. If the chief medical examiner determines that it is necessary, he or she may appoint any person medically trained and licensed by the State of West Virginia as a physician, registered nurse, paramedic, emergency medical technician or a physician assistant to act as an assistant county medical examiner for a term of three years. An assistant shall have the same powers and duties as a county medical examiner and shall perform his or her duties under the supervision of the chief medical examiner.
(b) A county medical examiner or his or her assistant county medical examiner shall, at all times, be available to perform the duties required under this article. He or she shall, additionally, be paid a fee, as determined by the chief medical examiner, but only for the actual performance of his or her duties.
(c) County medical examiners and assistant county medical examiners are authorized to determine the cause and manner of death in any case falling within the provisions of section eight of this article, subject to the supervision of the chief medical examiner, and may exercise any of the powers attendant to the investigation of deaths.