A deputy coroner at the Lake County Coroner’s Office has been fired and indicted on felony charges for recording herself conducting a death notification to a victim’s family member.
Dana A. Dingman, 36, of the 100 block of Station Park Circle in Grayslake, was indicted on Wednesday on charges of official misconduct, a Class 3 felony, and two counts of eavesdropping by use of a device, a Class 4 felony.
The coroner’s office said in a statement Wednesday that their administration located a video on April 23 on Dingman’s county-owned laptop.
The video depicted Dingman, who was working as a deputy coroner at the time, conducting a death notification to a family member of a victim.
The video appeared to have been taken from Dingman’s cell phone in July 2018 without the consent of other parties involved.
The video was later stored on Dingman’s computer hard drive. It is unclear why the woman recorded the encounter and saved it.
Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said she immediately contacted the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and Lake County Sheriff’s Office upon her administration making the discovery in April.
The state’s attorney’s office and sheriff’s office both opened an investigation into the incident.
“I am appalled at the discovery of this video. There is no reason for the employee in question to have violated the public’s trust by surreptitiously recording them during such an emotional and private moment,” Banek said.
“Finding out a loved one has died is a family’s worst moments, and our staff is expected to conduct their duties with the utmost care, respect and compassion,” she added.
The coroner’s office said this appears to be an isolated incident and only occurred with this employee. The family members and other parties impacted have been contacted and made aware of the investigation.
Dingman’s employment with the coroner’s office was terminated last month. A mugshot was not immediately available for Dingman as she is not in custody yet.
An arraignment hearing on the woman’s charges is scheduled for July 22.