Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bodies Shipped To Terre Haute And Dayton For Autopsies

There were two more homicides over the weekend in Indianapolis, and there are no forensic pathologist on duty at the Marion County Coroner's office to perform medical examinations. The Coroner's answer: send them to Terre Haute or Dayton, Ohio. The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy writes:

Autopsies in Marion County criminal cases might be farmed out to Terre Haute and Dayton, Ohio, because of an ongoing dispute in the coroner's office.

That plan surfaced Monday after concerns that the office's difficulties with contractors who perform the county's autopsies could jeopardize investigations into two weekend homicides. An attorney for county coroner Kenneth Ackles said his office has lined up Dr. Roland Kohr of Vigo County and Dr. Kent Harshbarger of Dayton, who may not come to Indianapolis to do the autopsies.

"If the need arises for bodies to be transported, we'll have to make arrangements for law enforcement to accompany the bodies," said Ackles' attorney, Ralph Staples. "Hopefully, we can do those autopsies here in Marion County."

He said the county would have to pay for transporting the bodies but would consider legal remedies to recover the money.

The irony is that Marion Co. Coroner Kenneth Ackles' decision to terminate the 5-year contract he had with Forensic Pathology Associates was based on his desire to cut expenses. Now, taxpayers will be forking over transportation expenses to send bodies out-of-state, in some instances, for autopsies to be performed. The problem is entirely self-inflicted. Ackles has long known that the existing contractor intended to perform autopsies only through December 1. Although Dr. Stephen Radentz and his associate agreed to stay on through December 19 after it became apparent Ackles had failed to timely line up a replacement forensic pathologist, the refusal of Ackles to communicate a response to them concerning their offer for continued services led to their walkout from the office as of Monday. Ackles' choice to replace Radentz' firm, Dr. Joye Carter, will not be able to perform work until at least Friday, assuming her temporary medical license is approved this week by the Indiana Medical Licensing Board.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dr. Joye Carter, will not be able to perform work until at least Friday, assuming her temporary medical license is approved this week by the Indiana Medical Licensing Board.

Why on Earth should the medical licensing board grant her a license? Look at her checkered past! She left a mess behind in DC, and again in Houston after a bout of legal trouble. This is going to be a defense attorney's dream.

coronerinsider said...

Yet again, I find out about my office in the newspapers. As deputies, we are told absolutely nothing. So, if homicides are being shipped out of county for autopsies, how long do you think the other cases will be waiting for post mortem exams? What do I tell the familes of motor vehicle accidents or other deaths requiring autopsy that aren't homicides? Who do I call for pathology consults in organ donation cases? If the Mayor's office doesn't do something about this, what will happen when Dr. Carter doesn't get a license on Friday? The citizens of Marion County deserve better than what Ackles can give. He should resign immediately and take his Chief with him.

Anonymous said...

9:30, I'm losing my sympathy for you.

Quit!

You're staying in a rat's nest. Get on with your life.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, insider...if you're using your work computer for these posts, I'd be careful. Ackles is stone-cold silly enough to do a keystroke program and be able to pull up everything you've typed.

He mentioned in one of his rare interviews recently that he had disgruntled employees who were responsible for most of his woes. Which is laughable, but that's what this bozo thinks.

Beware.

coronerinsider said...

Hey 10:03, if this was your job that you used to support your family, you'd feel the same way to. So, until you've been in my position, zip it. This is not an easy job to begin with, it is made even more difficult when you get no information or support from those who claim to be in "charge". And if I don't let people know how poorly things are being run, who will? If you don't like what I have to say, then don't read the blog. Last time I checked my speech was Constitutionally protected. Ya Jerk!

FYI, home computer, no way I'd be dumb enough to do this at work folks.

Anonymous said...

1003 - I feel sorry for coronerinsider. He/she/it is right. It is their life and livelyhood in a job not all people could deal with. If everyone just gives up and walks away what are we left with? The idiots taking over the city? Don't you want the best for your family?

Hang in there insider, you give us insight no others can.

Anonymous said...

"The irony is that Marion Co. Coroner Kenneth Ackles' decision to terminate the 5-year contract he had with Forensic Pathology Associates was based on his desire to cut expenses."

Maybe, maybe not. I thought Supreme Coroner Ackles refused to tell the peasants why he cut the contract.

Anonymous said...

FPAI sent out a press release last night stating that they had no choice but to stop taking new cases to allow them time before 12/19 to close out pending cases. The Star left it out this morning, but just so everyone understands the gravity here, there are 170 cases pending that have to be closed. One hundred and seventy. FPAI would not be doing their job if they continued to bring on new cases and leave the rest to collect dust and not go to trial. That's 170 families, people--170 families that are waiting for answers and FPAI is doing what they have to do to close those cases beofre 12/19. FPAI was put in an impossible position. You cannot take new cases up until your last day. Those cases would be pending for months with no follow up. Ackles said they were no longer needed as of 12/1. Guess he was counting on Joye Carter being licensed in Indiana by then. He said there would be no interruption in servives, but refused to offer details. I think it's clear to the city now that he didn't offer details because he was lying about having people ready to go. This is 100% Ackles fault. Radentz made an offer to bridge the gap and Ackles never responded. He was told he was fired as of Friday. Notice Ackles refused to comment on the crisis today. The morgue is FULL, no autopsies are being conducted, and families cannot bury their children, wives, and sons. If that doesn't border on the criminal, I don't know what else does. Kenneth Ackles is a CRIMINAL. If I had a loved one die this week, I'd burn his house down. Kudos to the physicians of FPAI for managing for this long. They've done all they can do. The cases have to be closed. Indy called Ackles bluff and now he has nothing to say.

Anonymous said...

Ackles terminated the contract because he wanted a cut of the profit from out-of-town autopsies that FPAI was doing. FPAI has always done autopsies for surrounding counties. Ackles said he was pissed because "Marion County supplies" were being used for this purpose. He was looking for a reason to terminate FPAI because the Joye Carter thing has been in the works since February.

coronerinsider said...

If wanting a cut of the fees for out-of-county autopsies, Ackles should've negotiated this in the contract signed by PAI. But, he simply used this as an excuse to get one of his own, Dr. Carter in the office. And he'll be the first to tell you he answers to no one and can do whatever he wants as Coroner. Smell that? It's the morgue overflowing with remains of HUMAN BEINGS and the other stench is from the mismanagement at MCCO. Now will the public listen and do something?

Anonymous said...

insider: I agree you complain too much, but in this respect, keep it up. I checked my email and have received nothing in the way of communication as to what is going to happen in the next few days.

Drs. Radentz, Swartz (leaving to go to New Jersey), Catellier (already moved to Iowa), and Poulos (forensic path fellow who had to lobby to continue his studies in another program without having to start over) have worked their asses off and have not received any recognition for all the bullshit they have had to endure. Kudos to them for being moral, ethical, and people of outstanding character. I will continue to hold them in the highest regard an pray that this situation will work out to "OUR" advantage.

My sincerest apologies go out to the families that have to wait to obtain answers regarding the death of their loved ones. Also, to the homicide detectives that I work with, hang in there. You can still catch your perps without a post.

Prosecutors: you may be able to file charges based on a preliminary investigation, but that prelim cause/manner is, in turn, based on how good the deputy coroner is at his/her job. And I'm here to tell ya, we got some really sucky employees in that office.

The licensing board will likely grant "Dr. Carver" a temporary license because there is no other choice. "Bodies piling up" is not a euphemism...its the truth. We will run out of room before any posts are done. And if the bodies are sent elsewhere for exams, then our Crime Lab and Homicide Detectives have to go with it. What are the financial repurcussions of that? Moreover, if/when Dr. Carver begins autopsies, she can will be limited to what types of cases she can do. And who is going to help her? Billie Elkins can not perform forensice autopsies, and, after all, isn't that the point of the investigation? To top it all off, Dr. Carver will be at a deficit when she comes into the morgue to start cutting and finds that she has no equipment to use. She won't even have a chair to sit in.

I'll stop for now, but not forever. I have confidence that things will work out. I have no other choice but to believe.

Anonymous said...

Insider, can't you get a job in a funeral home, or hospital or something, until this clown is gone?

I'm sympathetic to earning a living. But the grief factor you're putting up with, is way beyond what you should have to endure. It's not healthy, mentally at least.

Good you're not typing at the office computer. He is nuts, you know, and he'd fire you for that.

I've told my family, if I drop dead to drive me one county in any direction.

Anonymous said...

1205 - you don't know what kind of time insider has on this job. There are things called seniority and time in a job that count too. You make it sound easy, but it isn't.

Anonymous said...

I think insider will be ok until this pans out. But for some, its not that easy to just go get another job. How easy can it be for anyone with a specific job skill or training to just go get another job? I like my job and I want to stick with it. I am not a quitter. Furthermore, I will not let a bunch of dumbasses take control of the death investigations in this county, just so I can "wait things out". I will put up with the stress and grief so I can see this mess through and come out on top. Neither I nor Insider are asking for personal sympathy. We are merely trying to let everyone else be informed of the cesspool that is our workplace.

Anonymous said...

1205: If you think we deputy coroners can just go get a job in a funeral home, you clearly have no freaking clue what out job is. Do your research before you post. Otherwise, shut the hell up until you know what you're talking about.

coronerinsider said...

12:30, Thanks for coming to my defense. I know in the long run things will work out. At least those of us at MCCO who work professionally and ethically know we have done nothing wrong and are simply trying to let the public know that this office is a mess and that, as taxpayers, they deserve and should demand better from our Coroner.

Anonymous said...

relax, 12:41...I know it's stressful, but I was trying to help./

No one, NO ONE, should have to put up with that kind of stress level in a job.

Funeral home, hospital nursing home and similar jobs are available, and it was mentioend out of concern, not condescending attitude.

Anonymous said...

Everyone take a breath and enjoy the 6:00 news tonight.

Anonymous said...

What channel? Who's doing the story?

Anonymous said...

9:30, I'm losing my sympathy for you.

Quit!

You're staying in a rat's nest. Get on with your life.


You know this person has a family to support. He/She may like their job but hates the management.

Anonymous said...

If you thought Daylight Savings Time made us the laughingstock of the nation, wait'll the national media getta hold of this story!

Skyrocketing homicide rate and a demented coroner who fires the forensic pathologists!

Can you spell disaster for the Democrats?

Anonymous said...

Insider: I got your back. I think in the near future we may need a "debriefing" of sorts, if you know what I mean...

1259: You clearly struck a nerve with me and I will NOT relax. This is my career and livlihood we are speaking of. This is not a job I happened to come across just to pay the bills. I am NOT a mortician and I do NOT take care of the living. I am an INVESTIGATOR specializing in DEATH. Do a local job search for "medicolegal death investigator" and see what comes up. Its not that I'm stuck in my job, its that I choose to stay for my career with the hope that I can help make things better in the future.

I apologize if I have become defensive, but if you know me at all, what I wrote is extremely tame compared to what I would have said to your face. Thankfully, I have the option to reread and edit what I type. I do, however, appreciate your concern for us deputies. We seem to be the lost souls in all this mess, so thank you for considering us and our futures.

Anonymous said...

Well I am waiting until someone posts about the fiasco that happened today. Today Ackles ordered Ballew to remove patient's charts from FPA. These are charts that are pending. Supposedly the charts were removed because Ackles thought FPA was "going to burn them". This was a serious HIPAA violation. They came in, took charts, rifled through them and took whatever was incriminating to MCCO. They also ordered that MCCO employees come in and steal autopsy instruments so no autopsies could be done. This resulted in a three to four hour delay in starting autopsies. The instruments were returned only after the prosecutor's office was contacted. Files were stolen. Instruments were stolen and all Ackles had to say, "I'm the coroner"....

coronerinsider said...

Anon 4:19, I'm in for any "debriefing" Name the time and place. I have several issues to discuss with you.

Anonymous said...

I want in on that too, so I can be calm when I resign shortly. I'm done.

Anonymous said...

insider: The usual, say Thursday 12/14? Have your people call my people.

Anon 619: If you are who I think you are, then you should know who I am. I'm sure we'll be in touch with one another.

Anonymous said...

Correction to above: Anon 619 should be Anon 621.

Anonymous said...

So what was this new story? Didn't see a thing. Care to elaborate, anon 116?

Anonymous said...

anon 652 read anon 610..

Anonymous said...

anon 649--you know where to find me and I'll always support you guys no matter what you decide to do. Not to be cheesy, but one of my all-time favorite quotes applies to this whole thing: "What is right, in the end, will prevail." President Ronald Reagan.

Anonymous said...

umm this is one f'ed up situaution! those who are willing should stand up! What is J. C. goning to do to improve things? And what are those left going to do for jobs? They used to be qualified...now they are not!cq4

Anonymous said...

Anon 717: I had heard about that earlier this afternoon. Would definitely like to see some media coverage about it. Do you yet know what channel? I assume WRTV6.


Anon 722: Thanks for the support and all you have done to get us this far.


Anon 754: Some of us are more than willing to stand up, but simply can't due to repurcussions we might face. Trust me, we are fighting. Just not on the forefront.

Anonymous said...

"That's good. That's good. That's good. Hey, if any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like [Bones Ackles], my boss, right here, tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on [McCarty Street] with all the other [dead] people, and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head. And, I want to look him straight in the eye and tell him what a cheap, lying, no good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, bloodsucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-assed, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?"

--Clark Griswold in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Some words have been changed, but the message is certainly clear.

Anonymous said...

Anon 846 No way you can pay me enough to listen to Ackles let alone pick him up in my car. Wait, let me pick him up with a decomp in my car since he loves autopsies so much. cq4

Anonymous said...

Higgins updated story . . .

Panel to decide fate of restaurant/bar
Investors to make case for facility in Carson center

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061206/LOCAL19/612060411

Last month, they amended their petition and asked for permission to open a bar. The department recommended the commission deny the request.

Last week, the investors returned to the family restaurant concept by adding a rail separating the bar area from the tables. The department recommended approval.

According to a county zoning ordinance, a "family restaurant" can serve alcohol, but either alcohol sales can't exceed food sales or the bar area can't be larger than the dining area, an arrangement that is satisfied by the railing.

---

So the simple act of putting a BAR in the BAR makes everything ok ?

Anonymous said...

opps- wrong thread - sorry

Please delete as needed