Thursday, November 30, 2006

Star Has More On Dr. Joye Carter

The mainstream media has been playing catch-up with a couple of local blogs. The Star comes on strong today with a front-page story on Marion Co. Coroner Kenneth Ackles' controversial choice to conduct medical examinations. Brendan O'Shaughnessy and Jon Murray write about Dr. Joye Carter:

A doctor being considered to conduct autopsies for the Marion County coroner will have to persuade Indiana officials to grant her a temporary medical license because of her troubled past.

Marion County Coroner Kenneth Ackles declined to comment when asked Wednesday whether he was considering hiring Dr. Joye Carter or signing a contract with her.

But he wrote a letter Nov. 21 to the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana, saying Carter's skills and experience would help the office function when Forensic Pathology Associates of Indiana stops conducting autopsies.

Carter has been a trailblazer as the nation's first black female chief medical examiner, a post she held for 10 years -- first in Washington, D.C., then in Houston's Harris County, which she left in 2002.

But she left behind battles with officials there, a fine by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and two lawsuits by former employees who said they were fired for whistle-blowing . . .

Carter was lauded for modernizing Harris County's office and becoming an advocate for teen safety and awareness of deaths from heart-related causes and drug abuse.

But she also feuded publicly with police, prosecutors, county officials and her own staff over questions of the reliability of evidence in high-profile homicide cases and other issues.

She left her job in Washington in 1996 soon after The Washington Post
reported that conditions in the morgue rivaled Third World conditions, with drains clogged with blood, stacked bodies and inconsistent refrigeration that led to rotting corpses.

In 2001, the Texas board fined Carter $1,000 for allowing an unlicensed physician to perform autopsies in the office during a four-month period. Carter agreed to the order but said at the time that lawyers had advised her autopsies didn't require a medical license in Texas.

One year earlier, she had narrowly avoided losing her job when Harris County Commissioners split 3-2 against firing her. A majority of the doctors in the office issued a statement calling for her dismissal for the license issue and for attracting two lawsuits against the county.

In those suits, former employees alleged they were fired for speaking out about office abuses. One judgment in favor of a pathologist was overturned on appeal, but in the other suit, the county settled with a former DNA lab director for $375,000 . . .

While the Star's story notes that Carter has visited the Marion Co. Coroner's office and staff, and that her license application is supported by Ackles, it does not confirm whether she's been offered a job; however, if the Star's reporters had done a little more digging, they would have learned that Carter has interviewed potential candidates to work as pathology assistants in the office. Although Ackles' plan to hire Carter was first reported on Indiana Barrister and AI, this story and none of the other stories by the local mainstream media acknowledge how they first learned about the controversial forensic pathology candidate. As the Star's editor Dennis Ryerson is fond of saying, the blogs are just "noise." As long as the mainstream media is relying on the "noise" for its news stories, it should do a little more digging on the relationship between the Marion Co. Coroner's office and Indiana Autopsy. It should prove newsworthy.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Denny boy fired the real reporters over there. Now he has a bunch of hacks and press release copiers.

... And one kick-a$$ cartoonist.

Anonymous said...

Varvel is a creep with questionable views. Living proof is that he rarely, if ever, gets picked up for syndication. His humor is sophomoric.

Gary, there's noise, and then there's noise...don't quit, don't every give up. Remember the corps, the corps, the corps!

(Or is it corpse, corpse, corpse?)

So now we know "Dr." Ackles supports the medical license application of a person who would not normally be given a license, without special dispensation?

When does this nonsense end?

coronerinsider said...

Good work AI, keep it up. Also, look into allegations that raises were given only to African American employees, and the white ones were passed over. A racial discrimantion complaint has been filed with both the EEOC and Indiana Civil Rights Commission. It just keeps getting better. Also, the deputies still don't know who will be doing autopsies tomorrow morning, if anyone. Sounds scary huh, Ackles won't even tell his employees the truth......

Anonymous said...

Off with his head.

Anonymous said...

Just be careful, AI that you dont report on the mistakes of the incompetant Marion County Democrats, ALL the time..else you'll have pit-bulls like TDW come at ya, snapping like rabid chihuahua's...God forbid you should offend THEM with truths...

Anonymous said...

Varvel is seriously unfunny. Not a bad artist, but devoid of any humor, much like Bruce Tinley's "Mallard Fillmore." The Star used to occasionally run guest cartoons from other newspapers, like Pat Oliphant- now there's somebody with trenchant wit, very funny-- but Gannett cheapened up and stopped the practice.

Varvel has a mean streak. Or maybe just a zealot's streak. Same thing.

Anonymous said...

Coronerinsider , is that you Mr. Keith Conway??

Look, as long as the only requirement to be a coroner in Indiana is to be of 18 yrs of age and reside on the county of service, problems will remain.

State senator Pat Miller wants more training for coroners, not a medical examiner's system.

19 years ago a plane crashed into the airport ramada inn killing 9 on scene; a 10th person died a week later. Not since Oct 20, 1087 has Indpls had a "disaster" but I suspect we are due for one. Let's hope that whomever those are in the coroner's office are, that they are professional enough to do the job professionally.

Coroner's are to be like well behaved children: Seen and not heard.

Anonymous said...

"Not since Oct 20, 1087 has Indpls had a "disaster""

Wow. That swamp fever must have really ran rampant thru the Native Americans.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the Star reporters scrutinize the credentials of each elected official when they announce their intentions to seek public office before we vote for them. The voters may find that they have supported numerous incompotent lawyers to serve as judges and legislators who flunked courses in business administration, civics and economics and several are high school dropouts? So much for public watchdogs!

Anonymous said...

excuse the typo "incompetent"

Anonymous said...

excuse the typo "incompetent"

Were you trying to spell "Incompetent" or "impotent" ??

HA!!

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