On Monday Lubbock County Commissioners will appoint Dr. Sridar Natarajan to be the new medical examiner for Lubbock County.
If the name sounds familiar to you, it's probably because he was the Lubbock County Medical Examiner a little more than two years ago, before taking a job in San Antonio. Commissioner Bill McCay says Dr. Natarajan is excited to come back to Lubbock and the county is thrilled to have him.
McCay says Dr. Sridar Natarajan has a great reputation across the country and is board certified in Texas, so he is the perfect choice for the Chief Medical Examiner in Lubbock County. "He brings in experience, he is familiar with Lubbock, he is familiar with the other counties and the other entities that the medical examiner has worked with in the past so I believe it is going to be a very smooth transition," said McCay.
In August, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center announced they would not oversee the medical examiner's office anymore, starting in next September. Natarajan will be a Lubbock County employee and not part of Texas Tech, like it has been in the past. "We'll still work with Texas Tech and we are in negotiations with the facility and some other issues with Texas Tech, but they have been great to work with in the past, and I anticipate we'll work something out so we can continue a relationship with Tech, because it's a great resource," said McCay.
But some question hiring Natarajan. David Fisher, a document specialist in Austin, claims Natarajan's appointment is a problem and wrote the commissioners an e-mail on Friday saying he intends to file a complaint to the US Department of Justice.
Fisher claims the county commissioners never legally or properly set up the office of medical examiner from 1994 to the present. Commissioner McCay disagrees. "When this issue first came up with this gentleman, Matt Powell and our civil attorneys studied the law very thoroughly so we are confident that what we are doing is within the law and the best thing for Lubbock and Lubbock County," said McCay.
Previously more than 80 counties used Texas Tech and the work of the medical examiner, commissioner McCay says Lubbock County is the primary focus right now, but he says the commissioners will check into continuing working with other counties.
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