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ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. -- Dr. Pramod Menon was appointed the interim coroner Thursday by the St. Tammany Parish Council, taking over for Dr. Peter Galvan who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.

'All three applicants for this interim post were exceptional, and I personally appreciate each of them offering himself for service to our community,' Councilman Marty Gould said. 'While we had a difficult choice to make, I agreed with a majority of my colleagues that Dr. Menon was best suited for the temporary task of operating the Coroner's Office until the election in April.'

Menon is a partner at Cardiovascular Associates in Covington and is part of the Louisiana Heart Hospital Physician Group in Lacombe. He is also vice-chief of staff at Lakeview Regional Medical Center.

Menon's salary as interim coroner was set at $72,000 per year.

A special election will be held in April to fill remainder of Galvan's term.

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