Lubbock Medical Examiner resigns, Commissioners appoint new acting Chief M.E.

Dr. Lang Resigns as Medical Examiner

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock County Commissioners appointed Dr. Charles Addington as the Acting Chief Medical Examiner after current Medical Examiner, Dr. John Lang, submitted his resignation early Monday morning. Dr. Lang was hired in October 2019.

Dr. Charles Addington
Dr. Charles Addington (Source: Lubbock Heart Hospital)

The Commissioner’s Court agenda states the appointment of Addington is “directly related to the emergency and urgent public necessity caused by an epidemic (COVID-19) and its effects, which requires immediate action of this government body...” effective July 13, 2020.

Addington will formally be appointed at 1:30 p.m.

Commissioners accepted Dr. Lang’s resignation letter and was thanked publicly for his service to Lubbock County, stating he was very effective in clearing the backlog of cases left by NAAG.

Resignation as Chief Administrative Medical Examiner effective 0800AM July 13, 2020
Resignation as Chief Administrative Medical Examiner effective 0800AM July 13, 2020 (Source: Lubbock County)

Dr. Lang is a native of Hershey, Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University’s College of Medicine and worked with the United States Health Services with The Federal Bureau of Prisons.

KCBD Dr. John Lang
KCBD Dr. John Lang (Source: kcbd)

Discussion of his employment was posted as an item on today’s meeting agenda to ”discuss, consider and/or take action regarding the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of Dr. John Lang, Administrative Chief Medical Examiner of Lubbock County.”

Another item on the agenda, related to but not dependent on Lang’s employment, stated the commissioners were to discuss, consider, and/or take action regarding the acceptance of release and authorization of settlement with Devontai Gaines regarding claims arising from his employment with the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Lubbock County Commissioner’s meeting began at 10 a.m.

Lang was thanked publicly for his service to Lubbock County, in part, helping the medical examiner’s office catch up on the number of backlogged autopsy cases.

“Dr. Lang was able to come in and help us to get rid of that backlog,” said Lubbock County Judge, Curtis Parrish. “He provided a great service to love accounting and so we do thank him for service.”

Dr. Charles Addington was appointed at the new Interim Medical Examiner while the commissioner’s court reviews the county’s budget this summer.

“He will serve as the acting medical examiner until such time as we come up with a more permanent solution. we’ll be looking at through the budget process we will be looking at the cost analysis of different types of plans. We will be looking at whether to hire a forensic pathologist.

Judge Parrish said Lubbock County will continuing utilizing Tarrant County to help with the current autopsies.

Here is Dr. Addington’s employment history according to the Lubbock Heart Hospital website:

  • 1999-present: Family Practice Physician, Wolfforth Community Health Center
  • 1999-present: Assoc. Clinical Faculty, Texas Tech Univ. Health Science Ctr. – Family Practice Dept.
  • 1999-present: Associate Medical Director, South Plains Emergency Medical Service
  • 1997-present: Attending Staff Emergency Room Physician, University Medical Center (Level 1 Trauma Center)
  • 1997-present: Attending Staff Emergency Room Physician, Highland Medical Center
  • 2005-present: Attending Staff Emergency Room Physician, Lubbock Heart Hospital
  • 2006-present: Emergency Department Medical Director, Lubbock Heart Hospital
  • 1996-1999: Family Practice Residency, Texas Tech University Health Science Center.

“Dr. Addington obviously is very well known in the community. he’s local. he operates a clinic in Wolfforth, and he’s very well known in the community,” said Parrish, “we’re really honored that he’s agreed to step in and help us out here in Lubbock County.”

Addington, who was the Mayor of Wolfforth, Texas until February, he has been a medical doctor for more than 20 years. He is a graduate of Frenship High School and Texas Tech University.

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