CROWN POINT | Former Hobart police official Leo Finnerty will be the next chief deputy of the Lake County coroner's office.
Coroner Merrilee Frey announced Finnerty's hiring Wednesday in a news release.
Finnerty served 13 years on the Hobart Police Department, rising to the rank of lieutenant. He became one of an elite group of hostage negotiators, before retiring from that city's force.
He will replace David Pastrick as second-in-command at the Lake County coroner's office.
Pastrick, a son of former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick, was twice elected coroner and served in the office from 2002 to 2009, when he stepped down because of term limits. He served 10 months in Frey's administration.
Pastrick, who has been a licensed funeral director since 1987, will manage the family-owned Oleska-Pastrick Funeral Home in East Chicago.
Finnerty has attended the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. Finnerty's diverse investigative background and more than 200 training certifications will bring the type of experience required in the coroner's office, according to Frey.
"Our plan is to utilize the professional skills of Chief Finnerty in homicide investigations to instruct coroner staff employees, helping them to develop additional skills with their investigations,” Frey said.
Finnerty also has served as police chief of Purdue University Calumet's security staff and has lectured at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield, Ind.
“It has been an honor to work with Chief David Pastrick for one year. He accepted the position as chief temporarily when I was elected, to help with my transition into office as coroner," Frey said.
"Chief Pastrick has my support in returning to his family-owned funeral home. Together Chief Pastrick and I chose our new Chief Leo Finnerty.”