Funeral director charged with running South Side facility without a license
BY MICHAEL LANSU Staff Reporter March 12, 2013 12:28AM
Harry Joseph Carter III / Photo from Cook County Sheriff's office
Updated: March 12, 2013 12:28AM
A South Side funeral director was charged with embalming bodies without a license after his facility was closed for the “improper care of human remains,” Cook County Sheriff’s police said Monday.
Harry Joseph Carter III, owner of Carter Funeral Chapel in the 2100 block of East 75th Street, was charged with two counts each of misdemeanor funeral directing without a license, according to a release from the Cook County Sheriff’s office.
The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation revoked Carter’s funeral director license on Feb. 23 for “unlicensed practice, unprofessional conduct, gross malpractice or untrustworthiness; obtaining or attempting to obtain business by fraud or misrepresentation; aiding or assisting another in violation of the Funeral Directors and Embalmers Licensing Code; failure to maintain a properly equipped preparation room; and having a pattern of practice or behavior demonstrating incapacity or incompetence to practice,” according to the sheriff’s office.
However, Carter, 63, continued to offer funeral director services without a valid license, the sheriff’s office said. A south suburban crematory notified authorities that Carter brought in a body after his license was suspended and asked other funeral directors to sign death certificates for five people.
Carter allegedly brought another body to the crematory pm March 4 and again asked other funeral to sign the death certificate, the sheriff’s office said.
Carter’s funeral home was shut down in 2012 for subpar conditions, including lack of heat and electricity and “the improper care of human remains,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Authorities learned Carter continued to embalm bodies at the closed facility, according to the sheriff’s office. However, funeral services were held at local churches.
Carter allegedly told families the funerals could not be held at his facility because it was being remodeled.
Carter posted $1,000 bail and was released from jail, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office. He will be back in court March 27 in Bridgeview.
If convicted, he faces a penalty ranging from fines to a year in prison, the sheriff’s office said.