34 Years and Counting



By: Allen Johnson 

April 1 is always more than just April Fool’s Day at the Orleans Parish Coroner’s office. This Tuesday marks the 34th anniversary of Dr. Frank Minyard’s inauguration as the elected coroner of Orleans Parish, but there are no plans for celebration. The New Orleans Forensic Center may be too busy. As of March 27, there were 42 homicides in Orleans — a rate of more than three a week, according to coroner’s Chief Investigator John Gagliano. In addition, there have been 12 suicides in as many weeks. Now the longest serving elected official in the city, Minyard first took the oath of office April 1, 1974. A jazz trumpet player, Minyard was sworn in with several other reform officials: new DA Harry Connick, new Criminal Sheriff Charles C. Foti Jr. and new Clerk of Criminal Court Edwin Lombard. Connick is retired. Foti served as the city’s jailer for 30 years and one term as elected state attorney general. Lombard is now an elected judge on the state Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal. 

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