NewsChannel 11 received some perspective on the decision to pay Lubbock County's next medical examiner roughly $450,000. The outgoing medical examiner Dr. Thomas Beaver makes $240,000. Beaver thinks the County Commissioners got caught off guard a little bit by timing.
Texas Tech announced it would continue doing autopsies until August 2009, but Dr. Beaver won't be here that long. His wife suffers a serious illness and they feel the urgent need to be close to family in California. So, Beaver is not taking new cases as of January 9th, which is later this week. Commissioners have known for almost six months that Beaver would leave early.
That leaves Texas Tech, and by extension Lubbock County, short on forensic staff. Beaver thinks there might have been something of a rush to get Natarajan hired. Basically Natarajan had the chance to name his own salary and Beaver says no one should blame Natarajan for that.
In the meantime, Beaver tells NewsChannel 11 "I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve at Texas Tech HSC. I got to be a professor and I loved that. I wish Dr. Natarajan well and I hope he does great."
Beaver remains the chief medical examiner until February 1st. He's using his remaining time to finish up pending cases.
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