Authorities have seized more than 900 case files from the Nueces County Healthcare Examiner’s Place of work, a considerable broadening of scope in a months-extended probe by area and point out investigators, county e-mail obtained by the Caller-Times show.
The investigation, which authorized professionals explained could negatively affect criminal conditions for which the place of work performed autopsies, has resulted in a few arrests: Dr. Adel Shaker, the previous chief healthcare examiner Dr. Sandra Lyden, Shaker’s previous deputy chief clinical examiner and an office administrator.
Numerous information encompassing the investigation and the circumstances seized are unclear.
District Legal professional Mark Gonzalez declined to response concerns about the expanded investigation, like why and when the 900-furthermore scenarios were seized, how significantly back again the scenarios day, what styles of conditions are remaining investigated or which professional medical examiner executed the autopsies for said instances.
“Regretably, I can affirm their cases are pending and consequently we can’t comment on a pending case,” Gonzalez mentioned Friday in an e mail to the Caller-Occasions.
Investigators first seized files from the embattled business in February, shortly just after a Corpus Christi Police Department investigator accused the previous deputy chief clinical examiner, Lyden, of practising with no the correct license from the Texas Healthcare Board.
At the time, a judge signed a warrant allowing investigators to seize much more than 30 situation files for autopsies and providers done by Lyden.
A May possibly 2 e mail from Chief Prosecutor Angelica Hernandez to the Nueces County Commissioners Court docket manager and the healthcare examiner’s workplace administrator, Alex Medina, shows investigators have since seized “900 in addition” situation data files from the office environment.
In the email chain, the court supervisor questioned Medina to operate with Hernandez to receive any copies of case data files essential to issue death certificates or “other related paperwork.” Hernandez responded, indicating the health-related examiner’s office had received copies of the 30 circumstances.
Hernandez ongoing, producing, “If you are chatting about the 900 furthermore scenario documents which have been taken, the request for certain copies must go through the similar channel as the ask for for the 30 situation documents.”
Hernandez wrote the district attorney’s business would no for a longer time talk with Medina in the May possibly 2 e-mail, expressing, “This dialogue with Pass up Medina is getting redundant (and) unproductive.”
“From this point forward, our office environment will only take communication or requests or issues specifically from the Chief Health-related Examiner or Acting/Short term Chief Clinical Examiner,” Hernandez wrote. “We do not sense Ms. Medina is doing work in the greatest desire of the ME’s workplace or our investigation.”
When investigators seized the extra than 900 cases is unclear. Gonzalez declined to disclose that facts.
Two days immediately after the electronic mail from Hernandez, Texas Rangers arrested Medina on a warrant charging her with earning a untrue statement to authorities, a Course B misdemeanor. An arrest warrant affidavit sworn by the Ranger accused Medina of lying about no matter if Lyden experienced a Texas health care license.
Medina’s legal professional, Eric Perkins, advised the Caller-Moments his client intends to plead not responsible to the cost, which he says has not yet been filed by the DA’s workplace. He also scrutinized the timing of the arrest, characterizing the investigation into Medina as “questionable.”
“When (Medina) is given an prospect to really confront the costs that have been innuendo-ed against her so far … she absolutely intends to plead not guilty,” Perkins claimed. “She is a vigorous defender of what she did there at that business.”
Dr. Ray Fernandez, the interim chief clinical examiner, declined to answer inquiries about Medina’s existing work status, saying personnel issues are private.
Perkins claimed Medina was positioned on administrative depart with spend last 7 days.
Arrested in April, Shaker is accused of criminally delegating authority to a medical professional, Lyden, knowing the act was in violation of the Texas Occupations Code due to the fact she did not possess a state license to practice, in accordance to an arrest affidavit for Shaker.
Shaker faces 17 counts of practicing medicine in violation of a portion of the Texas Occupations Code. A week right after his arrest, the Commissioners Court accepted his resignation and appointed an interim chief professional medical examiner.
Lyden was charged with 14 counts of practising medication with out a license resulting in financial harm, six counts of tampering with a governing administration report with intent to defraud or hurt, and one rely of misrepresentation pertaining to entitlement to practice medicine. Shaker terminated her work in January.
A vast majority of the charges confronted by Shaker, Lyden and Medina relate to whether Lyden was licensed by the Texas Medical Board to practice and their alleged tries to conceal that details from investigators.
The fallout of the investigation is not confined to the healthcare examiner’s workplace. The arrests have led the Commissioners Court docket to reevaluate personnel insurance policies for all county staff members.
Civil litigation is also on the horizon for the county. Last thirty day period, a South Texas legislation firm notified Nueces County of a coming lawsuit from a mother accusing the clinical examiner’s business office of mishandling the autopsy of her son.
Gonzalez, the district legal professional, declined to response no matter if the son’s case was among the 900-in addition instances seized by investigators, citing the ongoing investigation.
This write-up at first appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Instances: Probe into ME’s workplace significantly expanded considering that February, email messages demonstrate