STOCKTON (CBS13) — San Joaquin County Sheriff and coroner Steve Moore is addressing allegations made against him that were brought to light after a county employee resigned from her position.
Dr. Susan Parson, a forensic pathologist, says Moore made her job unbearable and that he attempted to influence her judgment and conclusions on autopsies.
The sheriff had nothing negative to say about Parson, only that her resignation and accusations took him by surprise.
In a resignation letter recently submitted to the county administrator, Parson writes that the sheriff made her job unbearable and alleges the sheriff interfered with autopsies conducted on suspicious deaths like officer-involved shootings.
“I’ve not understood of where she was coming from, on several of her concerns. To my knowledge, I’ve never spoken with her about any of her cases. So, that was kind of a mystery,” said Moore.
Sheriff Moore said parson does a good job and is considered a great asset to the county. The sheriff wasn’t aware there was a problem.
“I would have liked the opportunity to address some of the concerns that she has directly, prior to this,” he said.
Patricia Hernandez with the Union of American Physicians and Dentists who represents Parson says the sheriff is disingenuous in his statements. Hernandez says the union tried to meet with Sheriff Moore regarding parson’s concerns.
“The union sent him a cease and desist order back in October, and we request an immediate meeting with him, but he did not show up. Instead, he sent the county’s human resources director to meet with us,” she said.
Parson joined the county last year for the opportunity to work with chief forensic pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu who famously discovered a brain disease that was profiled in the movie “Concussion.” In the letter, Parson suggests he might quit too.
“How many law enforcement professionals are going to have to come out publicly and say that Sheriff Steve Moore is obstructing justice? I mean, how many professionals is it going to take?” said Frank Gayaldo of San Joaquin County.
Gayaldo has been a long time vocal critic of Moore. He doesn’t think the sheriff should be overseeing doctors. He applauds Parson for doing the right thing and going public with her claims.
“I hope in this day where he have the Harvey Weinstein stuff going on that now maybe victims and people that are making accusations are going to be listened to,” he said.
A representative for Dr. Omalu says he is aware that he was mentioned in Parson’s resignation letter and supports her statements.