May 132016
 

autopsy canstockphoto36142860

by Arnaud and Naja Girard…….

It all started with a dead body being hauled down US 1 on the back of an open-bed pickup truck. That was the unceremonious business practice of the new Monroe County Medical Examiner, Dr. Thomas Beaver. Families complained.

Then employees at the Medical Examiner’s office began leaving. The first one to leave, Ryan Moe, claimed he was subjected to abusive treatment. He told the Keynoter last May that Beaver would leave him alone to conduct critical autopsy procedures, “He’d have me eviscerate bodies and I’d still think he’s in the building,” According to Moe, Beaver would go off to play baseball or go scuba diving in the morning and would sometimes be unavailable when police were calling for him. Death investigator Zack Smith, resigned the following day. Dr. Beaver explained he was on call 24/7 so it should not be surprising that he would need to take time off when he felt overworked.

When funeral directors began complaining that they were having trouble getting burial permits and hadn’t been paid for transportation of bodies in months, Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi ordered an audit. That was April 24, 2015.

The Final Audit Report was released by Amy Heavilin, the Monroe County Clerk of Court, this week and, officially, no one seems to be alarmed at the results. However a careful review of the documents raises some serious questions, not just as to this medical examiner’s budget and bookkeeping, but as to Monroe County government’s past ability or willingness to require transparent and controllable accounting of taxpayers’ money. Indeed, most of the issues seem to stem from a loosely written contract.

During his first year on the job, Dr. Beaver paid himself $180,000 in salary, but also bought himself a truck [titled in his name] with $29,000 of County money and spent another $26,000 on his rental apartment.

Auditors question not only the validity of those two expenditures but also some $31,000 in “travel, food and entertainment expenses,” including two trips to Little Palm Island Resort & Spa totaling nearly $1,200 and close to $3,500 spent on fitness equipment.

Beaver spent over $9,800 for “age management” drugs purchased from an online store called Modern Therapy, thousands of dollars for gun supplies and training, baseball equipment, video games, diving equipment, a fishing trip, and restaurants in New York. Even a fitness club subscription for $320/month was paid for with taxpayer money meant to fund the operations of the Medical Examiner’s office.

Apparently the audit got off to a rough start. Dr. Beaver immediately hired a lawyer and refused to open his office to auditors. Through his attorney he denied them access to certain types of records claiming only records specified under the contract would be furnished. Auditors state they were not given all of the documentation they requested and were required to make formal public records requests in an effort to obtain more information.

In fact, Dr. Beaver, apparently, did not have very much in the way of “accounting” records to show at the time the audit was announced. He admitted having to re-create the record after-the-fact. Nonetheless, the report states that over $90,000 in expenditures remain unsubstantiated, with no backup documentation available.

Dr. Beaver claims he was hired as an independent contractor to provide a specific service for a fixed price; as long as he adequately provides the service, how he spends the money awarded to him under the contract is totally up to him. In other words, he argues, instead of paying himself $180,000 and spending $70,000 on personal expenses, he could have simply paid himself $250,000. An amount, he says, that is well within the range of a Medical Examiner’s salary. However, auditors point out that Dr. Beaver would be required to declare the value of any of these added “employee benefits” to the IRS. Beaver admits that his salary was designated as $180,000 a year.

In Beaver’s scenario, any funds not spent on the operations of the Medical Examiner’s office in a given year would translate into more money for the independent contractor. Dr. Beaver slashed expenses: He stopped paying for workman’s compensation. [He has since reinstated that coverage which was required under his contract.] Arguably, the pickup truck transportation scheme could also have been a way to cut operating expenses by avoiding having to pay funeral directors [who normally charge $350 per trip.]

Commissioner Carruthers described the situation as “a real learning process.” “The Medical Examiner doesn’t actually work for the County,” she explained, “He is appointed by the Governor, but the State legislature has the counties foot the bill — with basically no oversight.”

But the legislature did mean for there to be some protection for taxpayers when it comes to funding the offices of the County Medical Examiners: Under Florida Statute 406.06(3) Counties are required to fix the amount of a Medical Examiner’s salary and fees.

Apparently that has not been happening and Monroe County Medical Examiners, for years, have been left with wide latitude when it comes to their budgets and spending. In fact, this is the first audit of the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s office since 1997 and previous medical examiners have not been required to provide detailed expense reports. Commissioners have been approving lump sum payments each year based on the unsubstantiated budget demands of the medical examiners.

Dr. Beaver was the Chief Medical Examiner for Volusia County from 1999 to 2006. He should know how to manage public funds, which brings us to a few other strange findings in the auditors’ report: Beaver has a full-time bookkeeper who appears to have taken an array of curious financial decisions. Some $12,550 in cremation permit fees went uncollected and when asked by auditors why there were no records documenting her own compensation, she said she’d simply delayed paying herself for over a year. Is that a red flag?

More Money?

Last July Beaver claimed he had projected a sharp rise in unattended deaths and demanded a 30% increase in his annual payments. “Unattended deaths” [those occurring outside the supervision of a doctor] trigger an examination by a medical examiner.

“There’s no way we can absorb this,” said Commissioner Carruthers at the time, “This represents that suddenly like 25% more people are gonna’ die from unnatural circumstances this year than last year. I doubt it. It’s ridiculous!”

[In fact, by some strange twist of fate that could only suit the divine plan, there are exactly 165 unattended deaths a year in Monroe County. Well almost: 172 in 2012, 163 in 2013, 168 in 2014.]

During the July 2015 budget hearings Dr. Beaver asked for a $188,000 increase to his then $628,000 a year contract. Among the new detailed expenses he’d laid out was a $1490/month cost for an apartment rental for “visiting professionals.” Commissioner Heather Carruthers didn’t buy it, “Who are the visiting professionals? Why are they visiting, and why are we spending $1500 a month for them?”  

The auditors also questioned the Medical Examiner’s current charge to the County for rent for “visiting professionals” after the Landlord verified that the apartment in question was in fact Dr. Beaver’s residence.

“We walked down a path thinking there wasn’t going to be a problem,” says Carruthers, who explained that the contract the County is using is a template used by all 67 Florida Counties. “Our attorneys are looking at the contract. Absolutely we are going to be making changes to the contract. Maybe we’ll even take this to Tallahassee – possibly ask legislators to have a look at these statutes that haven’t been looked at since the 70’s. There needs to be some accountability.”

Dr. Beaver now claims the previous Medical Examiner, Dr. E. Hunt Sheuerman, was earning a salary of $240,000 a year but when we asked the County for past detailed budget documents for the period Sheuerman held the office we were told there were none. “We have no idea where he got that number from,” said Carruthers.

Beaver recently submitted a new proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2016. County Administrator Roman Gastesi called it the most detailed budget [for the Medical Examiner’s office] he’s seen since he began working for the County. This time Dr. Beaver is asking for an increase from the current $631,370 to $686,055 per year to include Beaver’s proposed $240,000 salary.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update: As a basic reference, Orange County [Medical Examiner District 9] apparently hires its Medical Examiner as a standard employee and is currently advertising a job opening for a Chief Medical Examiner.  [Unlike Monroe County, Orange County is a “charter county” and as such does not need to follow the same rules governing Medical Examiners.] Orange County has a population of 1,521,168, the Medical Examiner accepted 2,247 cases in 2014 and processed 6,000 cremation approvals; Monroe County [District 16] has a population of 72,553 and the Medical Examiner accepted 168 cases in 2014 and processed 447 cremation approvals. Starting salary in Orange County is offered at between $150,966 – $265,346.

Median home cost in Key West: $475,000 [realtor.com]

Median home cost in Orlando: $172,000 [realtor.com]

Budget meetings begin on May 24th.

Stay tuned.

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Arnaud and Naja Girard
Arnaud and Naja Girard, publishers and editors of the new, digital, Key West the Newspaper (The Blue Paper) previously reported for the former Key West The Newspaper, Key West’s longest running independent weekly, published by Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D., from January 1994 until November 2012. The Girards are perhaps best known for their discovery of and extensive research surrounding the US Navy’s 1951 claim of ownership of Wisteria Island but are also responsible for top investigative stories including breaking news coverage of the highly controversial in-custody-death of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day 2013, the catastrophic police tasing of Matthew Shawn Murphy, and the property tax scandal involving Balfour Beatty to name a few. Additionally the Girards have become well known for their in-depth investigations into local governments' sometimes questionable dealings with high dollar developers. Arnaud and Naja have lived in Key West since 1986.

  32 Responses to “Medical Examiner Buys Himself Video Games, Gun Supplies and a Truck With County Money”

  1. Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me till infinity. I don’t care cause it ain’t my money!!

  2. All I can say is: Welcome to “privatization”! Dr. Beaver’s legal position is solid. His contract calls for the $631,370 he was paid…upon satisfactory completion of his contracted duties. Aside from a few incidents regarded as “questionable” by some, he was paid without question. That is the way this works.

    While a “review” of his financial activities might be warranted, what he actually does with HIS money should remain private. Our concerns, as taxpayers, should be focused on any contingent liabilities that might be incurred by his office that are outside his scope of authority/responsibility…period. So far, this “audit” has uncovered nothing untoward.

    Think about it. Would YOU want anyone to publicly disclose what YOU did with YOUR hard-earned money?

    I have no relationship with Dr. Beaver…don’t particularly care to, either. But, this is what you get when you “privatize” services.

    Dickford

    • Here’s a different take: Under Florida Statute it is mandatory that the Medical Examiner’s salary and fees be established by the County. The fact that that did not happen puts the legality of the whole process [and the contract] in question. Whether blame should be placed on the ME or the County or the State is not relevant to the question of what the taxpayers are entitled to [by statute] in terms of accountability. The County must establish a reasonable salary/benefit package and determine the reasonable operating expenses based on real numbers – the agreed upon lump sum must come from some reasonable evaluation of what the service should cost the taxpayers. This should have happened in the past and from what we hear will happen in the future. As to Dr. Beaver – the concept that his view of “employee benefits” could translate [allegedly] into defrauding the IRS out of some portion of mandated taxes allows taxpayers to, nonetheless, question his ethics. I think we can assume that an ME with “questionable” ethics is less than desirable when keeping in mind that on many occasions ME’s are required to testify in criminal court cases about cause of death. [Also, as a side note. The ME is an officer of the State and the records of his office are public records under Chapter 119 excepting those that are specifically made exempt by statute. He himself admitted to defining “his money” as $180,000. The audit was of expenditures made by and recorded as expenditures of the operating funds of his office.]

      • Your take is certainly worthy of consideration: So are Commissioner Carruthers objections. But, as Carruthers points out, the “template” for this agreement was forged back in the 70s…and in need of revision. This is the time to do that. The allegations of “irregularities” or improprieties are just that…and have not been formalized: You should regard them, if at all, as allegations. Period. Any aspersions as to Dr. Beaver’s “questionable ethics” or credibility in testimony before the court could be considered as libelous. Please be careful.

        No, the County has declared Dr. Beaver’s payment — in toto — as “his money”, per the contract as outlined. Some of us may not like it, but…that is what “we” agreed to, via the vote of the County Commission. Maybe, just maybe…we’ll take a closer look this time, eh? Don’t hold your breath…

        Dickford

        • But would a “template” contract override a requirement that is designed to protect taxpayers that is spelled out in the Florida Statutes? Highly doubtful. Nowhere does it say that the “template” contract must be adhered to in its exact form or at all for that matter. Of course the template can be used as just that – a template – but the mandatory components – the setting of a reasonable salary/benefit package and some reasonable justification to base the lump sum amount on is contemplated in the scheme of things – these elements should have been incorporated into the contract. Also the “template” contract does not ignore the concept of proper spending of taxpayer funds for the contemplated purpose. In fact, there is a provision for the right to an audit and for the reimbursement or deduction from future payments when an audit reveals “exceptions” to that rule [ie: expenditures that do not reasonably fall into legitimate use of funds.” The fact that the Florida Statues spell out that the ME will receive a “salary” and not simply whatever is left over in profits from the lump sum is also very telling. I don’t think this is quite as cut and dry as you make it out to be. But I have to agree, not giving out any A+’s on how the BOCC has been handling ME contracts all these years. Re “libelous” As a public official any claim of libel brought by the ME would have to meet an extremely high standard: “reckless disregard for the truth” That is the higher standard of proof prominent people in libel cases must meet, a test that gives the media greater leeway in reporting on governmental activities. But I agree we need to be careful – and I believe we have been.

  3. Can someone please explain to me why this kind of crap happens regularly in Key West? This stuff always ends up having no solution and is just accepted as the way things are done in Key West, Meanwhile, those of us who go to work every day at our low-paying jobs are struggling to find an affordable place to live. Our Commissioners can come up with $12.5 million dollars to “give” to the buyers of Peary Court and they give us an explanation of some sort of “trickle down” theory. If we help the buyers of Peary Court that in turn will eventually help the people here who actually need it.

    • It should be pointed out that this is not just “crap that happens in Key West”: Our Monroe County Commission settled on this contract.

      This is not to interfere with your observations vis-à-vis this Peary Court charade: They are right on the money. We must remember these dealings when it comes election time.

      Dickford

  4. There is absolutely nothing surprising about any of this because no one in the county has ever learned what is necessary in any contract. It’s been this way for years. What I do wonder is if they will ever learn – or are even capable of learning.

  5. I would suggest that buying personal items and charging his rent is indeed income that taxes must be paid for. Am sure the IRS will be in contact if alerted. A smarter move in his part would be to demand a higher salary and not saying they are business costs. At the least he is guilty of tax fraud. But if this is a total to operate and do the job then likely not illegal. Does he sound trustworthy or professional HELL NO. Should he be fired , YES
    The Total might be the same.
    Actually 1490 a month for rent is rather low.
    The actual breakdown of the money really does not matter other than for taxes.
    Can we trust his word in court as to cause of death ? Maybe not.
    This is just another HE GOT CAUGHT in corruption.

    • While I understand your ire, JimInKeyWest, any difficulties he may or may not be subjected to with regard to the IRS and his claims as to “expenses”…are really between him and the IRS.

      As far as we know, he’s not even accused of anything untoward, let alone “guilty”. Doesn’t he at least deserve the benefit of the doubt? I am sure that the IRS is aware of his claims on his tax returns.

      Dickford

  6. Like the tides, the one inexorable constant in the FL Keys is corruption. Dr. Beaver would be a perfect fit for the FKAA board. Kudos to Gastesi and Carruthers.

  7. Need to do the math. He is entitled to spend his salary anyway he wants That is the $180,000. The balance needs to be for costs of his work. Does the audit show this? Doubtful

    • Dear Baffled: The “math” to which you allude goes far deeper than you might imagine. Neither you nor I (nor the BluePaper) knows the specifics of this guy’s contract. Apparently, neither does this staff of politically-charged “county auditors”. While they managed to cast doubts upon the financial activities of Dr. Beaver, they were forced to admit that there was no evidence of wrongdoing on his part.

      Yes, issues did surface that require explanation…namely the roughly $30k purchase of a vehicle in his name. But, I’m betting that truly “independent” auditors could ferret out a reasonable explanation. To begin with, is this person entitled to use of a suitable vehicle with which to conduct official business? And, yes…the commingling of personal and community resources is always an issue, however slight.

      On balance, I wish that I could see an issue here…but, I can’t.

      Dickford

      • The contract is public record and is linked in the article. We all know what the contract says – if we read it. The audit report is also linked and contains the responses of the ME. The auditors did not say they found no wrongdoing – despite the headline in the daily paper. The auditors found “significant issues” and recommended that the amounts they found invalid be reimbursed to the County as per the clause in the contract that allows for such reimbursement. As to the use of a vehicle – the contract specifies that the County will provide the ME with the justifiable capital assets he requires. The proper method for the ME would have been to ask the County to provide him with a vehicle which would have been purchased with funds outside the contracted lump sum and title would have been held in the name of Monroe County. How was the vehicle issue resolved with the previous ME? Bottom line: These are all grown-ups here. The Medical Examiner worked for a different County as the Chief Medical Examiner for years – one can assume he has some familiarity with the concept of proper accounting and spending of public funds. The other party is the BOCC who has done a terrible job overseeing the office of the ME, apparently, forever. All parties to this contract who ignored the Florida Statutes requirement for the setting of a reasonable salary/benefit package and proper oversight of spending of taxpayer money did poorly here. And what about the previous ME’s? How much does it really cost to run the ME’s office? If there were “extra funds” at the end of the year [during any/all past years] what happened to those extra funds? The Florida Statute does not allow for this concept of “profit” to the ME office – it says the BOCC must establish a reasonable salary. It’s fairly obvious that extra funds should be used for operating expenses for the next fiscal year. This again, was not specified in the contract – but is to be assumed because of the laws that govern. The current County Administrator, Roman Gastesi and the current members of the BOCC have now acknowledged the fact that there is a huge problem here and they are moving forward with fixing it. That is good news. In the end, it may be that the ME’s salary should be $240,000 as he is asking now and perhaps his office does need more funding, but the taxpayers certainly have a right to expect the ME and the BOCC to behave like responsible parties when administering taxpayer funds. Commingling of funds, lack of proper accounting by ME – not O.K. Absence of establishment of reasonable salary and demand for justification for operating expenses and the “lump sum” by BOCC – not O.K now, not O.K. then.

        • There ya’ go, Dear Editor! The time is NOW for these questions to be answered! And convincingly! The citizens deserve nothing less. Such budgets should be publicly reviewable. But, in times past, they haven’t been. Whose fault is that? How many “contractors” does the county regularly do business with? How many of those contracts are actually available for scrutiny? Slim and none…and Slim just went on vacation.

          Yes, I have perused the pertinent laws together with what I understand to be the contract and the nexus of the “audit report”. I come away with a different attitude than you do. The single most nettlesome issue I come away with is this vehicle payment for $30k: I find trouble with the purchase mechanism…and the title. That said, I’m sure that the good doctor has an explanation.

          I have no truck with this fella (no pun intended). Still…I hark back to his predecessor who literally snuck outta town on the heels of his opinion as to the unfortunate demise of Mr. Eimers. That stunk…I don’t mind tellin’ ya’.

          Dr. Beaver should be held to account for his expenditures. That’s only reasonable. Why don’t we hold off on the lynching, eh?

          Dickford

          • Not so quick lumping our Medical Examiners into the same pile as all those “contractors” you have in mind. Look up “government instrumentality”. The Medical Examiner’s office is not the same as Joe Blow’s Roofing, Inc. – it is not treated the same way by the IRS (I’m talking about the office not the man) – it is entirely exempt from taxes. Why? Because it is doing the work of government – it is created by statute to perform a public service. “Profits” are not a part of that equation. This is what all the grown ups involved in this deal knew or should have known– and the Florida Statutes and the “template contract” all back that up. The Medical Examiner’s office MUST operate in the sunshine; a “contractor” or a company that just happens to have a government entity as one of its clients does not – although sometimes even they are required via policy and contract to make their books (pertaining to the specific job) available to the public.

  8. My God, 20 years ago someone must have emptied out the insanity homes around the USA and the inmates moved to the Keys. Is there any elected official official in Monroe County that has a set? Apparently not!

  9. with pain in my head and especially my heart I think of the eimers case! wjm

    • Beaver has nothing to do with Eimers……..

      • yes I know””says one med ex to another….
        both imo were/are corrupt. ya gata read betwixt the lines sonny!
        what might help you is reading all my comments each story in the way-back machine archives. some are down right ‘flabbergasting’. cheers wjm

  10. If this was a few isolated cases then no big problem but it is corruption every week by some department or city worker. Paints a bad image of KW. We will visit but no longer thinking of moving to KW. Naja does her best to find them but likely many go unnoticed.
    Sort of like drunk drivers, maybe 1 out of a hundred get busted.

    Without this paper we would never know.

  11. It seems to me that a Medical Examiner (ME) holds one of those positions that involves the public trust, much like the Sheriff of the State’s Attorney. A higher standard is required.

    That said, and given the circumstances, it’s probably time for Dr. Beaver to step aside and find a new situation elsewhere. This would probably be best done out of Florida as his reputation now extends beyond Monroe County but to the other Florida State Medical Examiner Districts as well given the open communication between the Districts.

    He should probably find a job in a large ME office as an employee staff pathologist where he does not have to do anything but his cases, where he does not supervise others and where he does not have responsibility for the budget.

    This is only my comment, and certainly all of this is open to debate. A prudent man would voluntarily take his leave at this point.

  12. Former D16 MEO employee here. With knowledge of their finances and contracts. Also met Dr Strange when he interviewed for job, also met the other doctor considered—who would have been a much better fit for the taxpayers of Monroe County.

    Technically Dr Strange is correct when discussing spending money. Poor judgement—sure. Breaking the law—-unlikely.

    A more serious issue is having techs cut autopsies when he’s not there. This IS a violation of the law. Why don’t folks focus on this aspect????

    District medical examiner terms are 3 years. When Dr Stange’s term is up, unlikely he will be asked to stay on. In fact, would be better if the county made the District ME a county employee at that time—much more accountability if they do that……

  13. Just to clarify:

    D16 ME is a private contractor. Previous MEs (and probably Dr Beaver) set up a corporation. County pays the corporation, which pays the ME salary, morgue tech/administrative salaries, daily operating expenses, etc. Money left over stays in the corporation, it doesn’t go back to the county.

    People also don’t realize that the county can’t really “fire” Dr Beaver—except for egregious violations of his contract. Only the Medical Examiner Commission can fire Beaver. And that would take quite a long time. His three years will be up before then….

    • Thanks so much. I searched for a corporation on State database. Can you recall the name of the previous ME16 corporation? The contract in question here is not with a corporation – it is with the Doctor himself. I’m curious as to the legality of the previous ME’s setting up private corporations and (possibly) retaining profits after their departure, knowing as we do now that there has not been any type of justification required in terms of how to reach the number decided upon for the lump sum payment. No County oversite of accounting or audit since 1997. With a state statute that specifically states that a “salary” must be set by the County and the general concept of proper spending of public funds – and the “template” contract requiring funds to be spent on legitimate ME office expenditures it does make one wonder.

  14. Yes I know the name of the corporation, but that’s not the point. Not unusual for “one doc shops” in Florida to set up corporations, can give legal protection to the DME. Right that people should “follow the money”, but past DMEs and Dr Beaver were within their legal rights. And I say that as somebody who knew Beaver was the wrong guy from Day 1. Lack of good judgment–absolutely. Breaking the law in regard to the money? Absolutely not. Clear violations of Florida Medical Examiner statutes associated with autopsy practices—yes. Those ARE “fireable offenses”, but only by the Medical Examiner Commission.

    As somebody who’s been in the forensic medical community for quite some time, and seen many different offices and how they operate, the county really needs to “deprivatize” the D16 MEO—that ways proper controls over the finances AND the medical practice aspects can be maintained. However, people in the Keys need to accept the fact that to get a good medical examiner—-and being that requires a big commitment—the county will need to pay a salary in the 200-250K range.

    Another thing lost on many people—-the BOCC did NOT hire Beaver. SA Vogel is responsible for that, she named him Interim ME, and once you’re the Interim, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re made permanent. There were numerous “red flags” in Beaver’s past, including well documented problems in Florida and Texas.Why was he originally hired?

    As I said before, unlikely Dr Beaver will be asked back after 2017. Although Vogel was the main power initially pushing for him, when it comes time for renewal, the county “stakeholders” have a big say. This means folks like the funeral home directors, county Sheriffs Office etc., and from what I hear, they’re not too happy with him and the “level of service” that he provides……….

    It takes a special person to be a good medical examiner for the Keys. Unfortunately Dr Beaver is too into himself to be that person………

    • Forensicdoceleven, thank you for your clarifications and astute observations: They’re similar to those I expressed here previously…but I am nowhere as nearly acquainted with the everyday realities of the situation as you are. That said, while us great unwashed can toss about legal vagaries and accusations…the good Dr. Beaver remains essentially unassailable, due to the provisions of his contract with the taxpayers. On the other hand, any significant improprieties with regard to the practice of his profession is definitely subject to review…by his peers. In other words, it would be far more constructive (and beneficial) for the taxpayers here to “lean on” the “powers that be” here…who do approve such contracts, to visit appropriately-targeted issues…to an acceptable conclusion.

      Like you, I questioned the “common sense” of those who selected Dr. Beaver in the first place: Particularly in light of news reports. Unfortunately, those problems continued under his guidance…seriously questioning his “suitability to task”, for lack of a better term. I think it is fair to say that Dr. Beaver’s overall attitude to the community is not viewed favorably…and, we are all “stakeholders”. But, those are merely perceptions. We simply have no evidence that whatever he did (or didn’t do) amounts to “criminality”.

      As for “sunshine laws”? Hah! Whenever are we gonna realize that most of the sunshine we’re likely to see in the Keys…is provided by our Uncle Sol? 😉

      Dickford

      • Actually, criminal acts were involved.

        In Florida, the Florida Association Of Medical Examiner autopsy guidelines aren’t merely “suggestions”, they are incorporated into the Medical Examiner statutes—therefore, not following the guidelines is not only “malpractice”, but violations of the law.

        Let’s put it this way—if one of my subordinates did what Beaver did, they would be fired immediately and would have no recourse………..

        There are independent witnesses to these events, BOCC was aware of this and interviewed them at the time. For better or worse, they focused on the “money angle”—-although as somebody with knowledge of the dollars, I knew this would really go no where, even if it did make Dr Beaver look bad. If they really wanted to remove him, they should have focused on the “practice issues”. But that means taking it to the Medical Examiner Commission, which can be a painful, drawn out process, and which may or may not have succeeded.

        I agree, the taxpayers are the ultimate “stakeholders”, but when it comes to the renewal process you really have no direct voice. However, the Keys is a small place, the key stakeholders (such as Bob Dean and Tony Allen, as well as the BOCC, Sheriff’s Office, hospitals, etc) are well known to the public, people should let them know how they feel.

        And still, SA Vogel remains mysteriously silent on all this……….LOL

        • RE: They (BOCC) should have focused on the “practice issues”.

          Yes, but I doubt that they were adequately equipped to properly address them. Besides…as you clearly point out, those issues would have to be pursued via the Medical Examiner Commission…and could take years. To what end?

          Technically (and legally) our hands are tied, as you also point out: We simply do not have a direct voice in the matter. That said, your approach is wise…appeal to those who are directly affected by Dr. Beaver’s performance (or lack of it). Push THEM to force the issue before “the powers that be”: All of these people have influence in places we don’t even know exist. We all gotta learn how to play the game. It’s either that or run around wailing and flailing and gnashing our teeth. And, we should regularly remind certain people (including our SA) that we do wield the hammer…at the ballot box.

          Dickford

  15. forensicdoceleven I applaud your insight and expertise and the past ME seems to have been part of the eimers follow the dots case of lies and corruption even after the 2 original videos were produced. he the ME never did a follow up! tells a lot about the man. I do like where your coming from and my reply to you earlier was somewhat tongue and cheek. and to everyone remember election time is fast coming and anyone including the SA will be voted on. not of course will it do an ounce of good to the poor guy pounced on by a half dozen kwtd ‘denizens of the deep’ blue and came up dead in the freaking sand from asphyxiation/suffocation! and to watch the bullshit thru the chain of players doing the CYA dance was truly disgusting. best wjm

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