DES MOINES — An area funeral director has been fined and placed on administrative probation for allowing unlicensed employees to remove and transfer human remains.
The Iowa Board of Mortuary Science, which can discipline funeral directors or revoke their licenses, entered into an agreement with Jim Fullerton earlier this month, according to public documents.
Fullerton, who owns Fullerton Funeral Home locations in Mason City, Charles City, Rockwell and Rockford, began having health complications in late 2015, documents said.
During this time and in response to a board investigation, documents said Fullerton admitted “at times, he had unlicensed employees assume custody and make removals” of bodies.
These employees did not secure a required burial-transit permit before removing and transferring human remains, the documents said.
As a result, the board charged Fullerton with two administrative, noncriminal offenses:
- Allowing an unlicensed person to remove human remains.
- Allowing an unlicensed employee to make removals and transfers without first securing a burial transit permit from Fullerton or another authorized individual.
Fullerton accepted an agreement with the board, which places his funeral director license on administrative probation for six months. He also was ordered to pay a $500 civil penalty within 60 days of the board’s approval of the order June 7.
As part of his probation, Fullerton is required to document 10 removals by a licensed professional and provide case reports to the board.
If Fullerton fails to comply with the agreement, documents say the board has the authority to invoke “additional discipline.”
The agreement will remain part of his permanent licensure record.