STOCKTON (CBS13) — A world-renowned forensic pathologist whose work was documented on the big screen has resigned after making serious allegations against the San Joaquin County Sheriff.
This is the second doctor who has come forward alleging Sheriff Steve Moore interfered with their jobs and claim the sheriff modified several autopsy reports.
Dr. Bennit Omalu feared he may be aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine and with tears in his eyes, he said he had no choice, but to resign.
In a letter to county administrators, Omalu, San Joaquin’s chief forensic pathologist who famously discovered a brain disease announced his resignation.
“Dr. Omalu resigned this morning because he was tired of hearing the lies and denial from the sheriff,” said Patricia Hernandez from Union of American Physicians and Dentist, who represents both doctors.
Much like his colleague, Dr. Susan Parson who resigned last week, Omalu alleges Sheriff Steve Moore made calculated attempts to control him as a physician. He said the sheriff started influencing his professional judgment since May 2007.
“Under the law, you have to consult with a physician in order to make a determination and in this case the sheriff had consulted with them, he had decided on a manner of death and then later changed it without their knowledge,” said Hernandez.
Parson released a document with more than 50 pages supporting her allegations against Moore. It includes memos that show the manner of deaths in autopsy reports were changed and how the sheriff ordered a technician to remove a person’s hand without their knowledge. Last week, Moore denied all allegations.
“I have not understood where she is coming from of several of her concerns,” said Moore.
Long-time critics of the sheriff say these allegations are of no surprise.
“To anybody who are familiar with Sheriff Steve Moore’s behavior, this fits a long-standing pattern of just outrageous behavior that Sheriff Steve Moore is known to behave this way,” said Frank Gayaldo, lives in San Joaquin County.
Omalu also writes the sheriff told the doctors many times “As long as they work for the sheriff, they must do anything and everything he asks, even when they consider the sheriff’s actions against their standards of practice.”
“With the integrity of the coroner’s office and the integrity of the evidence room under fire, we’re at a situation where this is a complete failed agency and the FBI, and the attorney general they need to come in,” he said.
Omalu leaves in March; he plans to stop performing autopsies right away so that he can complete and close over 150 pending and open cases.
Moore was not able to comment on these latest allegations stating he was out of the office on prior engagements.