Originally Mr. Lair wanted to pursue a career as a state trooper, but found that he was not physically qualified for the position. Instead, he took on a position as deputy in the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, where he was responsible for dispatching. In 1976, he relocated to Jacksonville, IL, and became an EMT. At the time, the coroner was in charge of the ambulance service, which made Mr. Lair deputy coroner. After his superior ended his term, he briefly served under another coroner before running for the position himself. He was first elected coroner in 1984, and has run for the position, and won, every four years since then. He was well qualified for the position, having served as a paramedic and emergency room technician for 26 years where he was able to learn a lot from doctors.
Mr. Lair was also one of the first coroners to be board-certified by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. Throughout his career, he also became adept in determining the need for an autopsy from case to case. On several occasions, he has determined that a homicide had taken place when the police thought otherwise.
Later in his career, Mr. Lair also established Lair Death Investigations, and became a security officer at Memorial Medical Center. In addition, he is the co-founder of the Underwater Search and Recovery Dive Team and a coordinator of entomology classes for police investigators. Looking toward the future, Mr. Lair plans to retire soon.
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