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Rensselaer County will be entering into an agreement with Dutchess County for medical examiner services for the immediate future, Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin and Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro announced on Tuesday.

McLaughlin credited Molinaro for working productively and quickly, and helping ensure the legally required service is provided without interruption in Rensselaer County.

“We want to extend sincere appreciation to County Executive Molinaro and his team for working with us in a difficult situation, and helping to quickly find an effective solution to maintain an important service. We look forward to being able to return the favor to the people of Dutchess County in the future,” said McLaughlin.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Dutchess County has long been a leader in shared services between municipalities, and even between counties, and we’re happy to provide this shared service with Rensselaer County – the latest example of county governments working together for the benefit of their residents.”

The agreement between Rensselaer and Dutchess counties was reached on Monday evening, shortly after the county contract with Glens Falls Hospital was cancelled. Rensselaer County was never without medical examiner services, thanks to the speedy resolution.

Rensselaer County lost medical examiner services when the county’s Medical Examiner lost the ability to work at two regional hospitals. The ME has decided against a COVID-19 vaccination, and is not in compliance with the state’s vaccine mandate. Initially, the examiner was at Albany Medical Center, and then at Glens Falls Hospital, but lost his ability to work at both hospitals.

“This is not a situation that is of Rensselaer County’s making, and our team has responded very well under challenging circumstances. There is already a solid working relationship between our offices, and for years, Dutchess transported prisoners to our county lock-up,” said McLaughlin.

Under the agreement, Dutchess will handle autopsies and laboratory testing, as stipulated by law. Rensselaer County will be working on a permanent solution to the county’s medical examiner situation, McLaughlin said.