Can This Man Save the San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office?

A young but accomplished pathologist credited with reforming the Washington D.C. medical examiner’s office will head to San Joaquin County to evaluate the strengths, weakness, and needs of the coroner’s office there.

San Joaquin has hired Dr. Roger A. Mitchell Jr. and RAM Consulting LLC to assess the state of the county’s beleaguered coroner’s office. He is the youngest chief medical examiner of a major city, the Stockton Record reports, and oversaw a backlog reduction of over 1,000 cases in the nation’s capital. He has personally performed more than 1,300 autopsies.

Among Mitchell’s assignments: compare the current coroner-sheriff’s department model with that of an independent medical examiner’s office. Mitchell will provide the board of supervisors with a summary of his findings, but will not provide a formal recommendation. He is being paid $500 per hour at a total cost of $50,000.

San Joaquin recently lost its top two pathologists after they resigned in protest, alleging interference and malfeasance by County Sheriff Steve Moore. Both have since called for the creation of an independent medical examiner to preserve the integrity of death investigations in San Joaquin County.


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