NAAG doctors say county officials use the Medical Examiner’s Office as ‘political punching bag’
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The National Autopsy Assay Group, once contracted to work with the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office, has sent a letter to Lubbock County officials, calling the office a “hot mess,” following the recent resignation of former Medical Examiner Dr. John Lang.
Dr. Lang submitted his resignation early on July 13, and Dr. Charles Addington was appointed as acting Chief Medical Examiner by Lubbock County until a new medical examiner can be found.
According to the letter, NAAG believes the search for a new medical examiner could be difficult; as many who work in the industry, “are well aware of the long standing problems” in the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office. They claim the treatment they received while trying to address the issues constituted “unfair and very public abuse.”
Dr. Evan Matshes and Dr. Sam Andrews, with staff and contractors of NAAG Pathology Labs, sent the letter on July 20, saying many employees they hired for Lubbock County “have left under questionable circumstances, with at least one receiving a cash-payout at the end of their employment last week,” adding they believe the settlement coinciding with Dr. Lang’s resignation raises questions.
The Texas Medical Board began investigating Dr. Andrews, Dr. Matshes and the Medical Examiner’s Office in February of 2019, prompting the District Attorney and Texas Rangers to begin their own investigation. The case against them was dismissed by a District Judge, and the Medical Board rejected the allegations in June of that year.
A quote included in the letter is said to be from a former employee in the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office, posted on a pathologist message board: “Everyone should steer clear of Lubbock. It is a career-ending job. You DO NOT want to be caught up in the cesspool and find yourself also a target of the FBI and the rangers. This is my duty to warn my colleagues.”
NAAG concluded their letter by saying County Officials must stop using the office “as a political punching bag,” and promise to stand against critics “with personal or political motives to undermine the office’s work” if they want to end what they refer to as “the hot mess” in the Medical Examiner’s office.
You can read a full copy of NAAG’s letter below:
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