Whistle-Blower Accuses Pierce County Medical Examiner of Mismanaging Death Investigations
Pierce County Medical Examiner Thomas Clark is now facing a new complaint by a whistle-blower that accuses him of mismanaging death investigations, improperly changing death certificates and downplaying or ignoring signs of possible abuse in a pair of recent deaths involving children.
The complaint which emerged on Thursday has come from Dr. Megan Quinn, second in command at the medical examiner’s office.
“Dr. Clark reaches inappropriate conclusions about cause and manner of death through his deliberate disregard of forensic evidence,” Quinn’s complaint states, referring to details of deaths involving a 15-month-old girl and a 12-month-old boy. “(Clark) failed to do the expected and required procedures in an investigation of the unexpected death of a child.”
Quinn added in that complaint “discounts and dismissed the well-established opioid crisis in this county. He has stated that it is not our job to deal with the issue and that the opioid crisis is not real, or the numbers do not support it.”
Clark was appointed to the medical examiner’s office in 2010. And he didn’t comment on anything on the complaint. Pierce County spokeswoman Libby Catalinich said that leaders had been informed about the charge, and it had been decided that Quinn and Clark would work separate shifts while an investigation takes place.
“We are aware of the complaint, are undertaking a thorough investigation and will take appropriate action in response to any findings,” Catalinich said via email. “We are committed to upholding the highest medical and ethical standards in the Medical Examiner’s office.”
This is not the first time Clark is being investigated. He was subject to an investigation in 2016, alleging arrogant and vindictive behavior toward employees. It also added that his intention for organ donation compromised office procedures.
However, the investigation followed by the complaint concluded Clark’s behavior did not harm death investigations.
However, the recent complaint by Quinn doesn’t talk anything about the organ-donation issue, but it repeats allegations regarding Clark’s workplace conduct.
“His bullying behavior continues unchecked,” her complaint states. “The working environment remains toxic.”