Task Force Recommends Tougher Regulation on Cemeteries

Gov. Pat Quinn called the existing regulatory setup a "crazy quilt" of rules and offices that doesn't work.

By Courtney Copenhagen
|  Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009  |  Updated 6:37 PM CDT
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Quinn: "We Need a Solid, Single Regulatory Authority" for Cemeteries

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Task force recommends oversight panel.

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Quinn: "We Need a Solid, Single Regulatory Authority" for Cemeteries

A task force is recommending tougher regulation and oversight of Illinois cemeteries in the wake of alleged desecration at a historic graveyard in suburban Chicago.
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A task force is recommending tougher regulation and oversight of Illinois cemeteries in the wake of alleged desecration at a historic graveyard in suburban Chicago.

The main recommendation made by the Cemetery Oversight Task Force in its final report calls for all existing regulation of cemeteries to be the responsibility of one department.

At a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Pat Quinn called the existing regulatory setup a "crazy quilt" of rules and offices that doesn't work. The panel calls on state lawmakers to pass a new Cemetery Oversight Act that would also establish tougher license requirements.

The panel was formed in July after four former workers at Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip were accused of digging up hundreds of bodies and reselling plots in a money making scheme.

All four workers have pleaded not guilty.

Meanwhile, two of the four workers in custody bonded out of jail Tuesday.

Terrence and Keith Nicks paid $20,000 apiece to be let go from jail. Last month Maurice Dailey paid a similar bond. That leaves Carolyn Towns as the only remaining worker left in jail.

When pelted with questions about how his actions affected the families of the Burr Oak interred, Terrence Nicks said: “I'm under enough pressure.  The truth will come out."

The next hearing for the four workers will take place on Sept. 25.
 
Full Coverage:  Desecration at Burr Oak Cemetery

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