Well, this is… miserable. Just when you thought Amy Winehouse was finally free to rest in peace, scandal comes along and stirs everything up again.
According to the Associated Press, the coroner who examined Winehouse’s death might not have been qualified to even be a coroner, at least in England. The coroner in question, Suzanne Greenaway, resigned from her post earlier today, after her “qualifications were questioned.”
Winehouse’s relatives said they were still absorbing the implications of the news and were seeking legal advice.
In October, Suzanne Greenaway ruled that the soul singer, who was found dead at her London home in July, had died from accidental alcohol poisoning.
Greenaway had been appointed an assistant deputy coroner in London in 2009 by her husband, Andrew Reid, the coroner for inner north London. But she resigned in November after authorities learned she had not been a registered U.K. lawyer for five years as required by the rules. She had practiced law for a decade in her native Australia.
Her resignation was not made public until Wednesday.
“I believed at the time that her experience as a solicitor and barrister in Australia satisfied the requirements of the post,” Reid said in a statement Wednesday. “In November of last year it became apparent that I had made an error in the appointment process and I accepted her resignation.”
Reid apparently broke no laws in appointing his wife but could have breached professional guidelines. Greenaway was one of several deputy assistant coroners.
Dude! Coroner Suzanne Greenaway submitted her resignation to her husband. This is a total mess.
Greenaway’s husband and boss, Andrew Reid, promises that he is pretty sure his wife handled all procedures correctly. Still, he has offered to reopen all 12 inquests his wife originally oversaw, should the families choose:
Winehouse’s inquest could be declared invalid if her family challenges the verdict in court. But on Wednesday, her father, Mitch, appeared to downplay the likelihood, tweeting: “Don’t worry about coroner nonsense. We are all OK.”
Cute notion, except that it was Mitch Winehouse who first insisted his daughter had died from alcohol withdrawal. He could really raise a stink again, if he wants to.
Should Mitch Winehouse demand that Amy’s cause-of-death investigation be reopened?