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North Iowa funeral director fined and placed on probation for mis-handling human remains

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MASON CITY – A state board has disciplined a North Iowa funeral director for allowing unlicensed employees to assume custody and make removals of human remains.

The Iowa Board of Mortuary Science and James Fullerton, an Iowa licensed funeral director, entered into an agreement after charges were brought against him. Fullerton is the owner of Fullerton Funcral Home, which has Iowa locations in Mason City, Charles City, Rockwell, and Rockford.

According to state documents, in late 2015, Fullerton began suffering from health complications. During this time and in response to a Board investigation, he admitted that at times, he had unlicensed employees assume custody and make removals of human remains. Additionally, the unlicensed employees did not first secure a burial-transit permit before removing and transfening the human remains.

As a result, Fullerton was charged with allowing an unlicensed person to remove human remains in violation of Iowa law. Additionally, Fullerton was charged with allowing an unlicensed employee to make removals and transfers without first securing a burial transit permit, from him or another authorized individual, in violation of Iowa law.

In a settlement agreement with the board, Fullerton’s Iowa funeral director’s license shall be placed on probation for six months subject to the following terms and conditions:

– Fullerton agrees to pay a penalty in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500). The civil penalty shatt be made payable to the Treasurer of Iowa and paid within sixty (60) days of the Board’s approval ofthis Order.

– Fullerton shall document ten removals verifying removal by a licensed professional and provide proof of these removals, in the form of case reports, to the Board.

The agreement shall be part of Fullerton’s permanent record and shall be considered by the Board in determining the nature and severity of any disciplinary action to be imposed in the event of any future violations.

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