By Darrell Smith
Yolo County Chief Deputy Coroner Robert LaBrash has resigned, the county's sheriff confirmed Tuesday.
LaBrash stepped down Friday in an abrupt departure that surprised a small but busy staff that handles more than 900 deaths a year, said Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto.
"They were shocked," Prieto said of those who worked with LaBrash. "He was extremely well-qualified, well-respected. He had a lot of knowledge."
Prieto said LaBrash was not forced out, but had contemplated leaving the coroner's office and ultimately "chose to resign for his own personal reasons."
Prieto said he hopes to select a successor "as soon as possible."
"Hopefully, we'll go with someone in house," he said. "We're hoping to promote from within."
LaBrash joined the Yolo County Sheriff's Department in April 1995 and had just marked his 18th year with the force.