LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock County Commissioners this week approved a professional service agreement with a company called Forensic Pathology Staffing. The contract will allow Lubbock County to do autopsies in Lubbock rather than sending bodies to Tarrant County, which had been the practice since late 2019.

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The agreement was described as $95,000 per month plus the cost of lab testing.

Forensic Pathology Staffing, based in Las Vegas, provides, among other things, staffing services including Forensic Pathologists, Pathologists’ Assistants, Autopsy Technicians and Medicolegal Death Investigators.

Lubbock County Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Charles Addington, made himself available for questions on Monday to the commissioner’s court. But with very little discussion, commissioners approved the contract unanimously. Commissioners previously approved a measure to exempt the contract from competition.

The contract will provide for two pathologists to work a full schedule, plus one or possibly two more for holidays and vacations. The contract begins October 1.

Addington is not a pathologist and was not appointed by the court to do autopsies. But instead, he was appointed to put together a plan to rebuild the office of Lubbock County Medical Examiner. The office suffered a number of scandals and setbacks dating all the way back to the 1990’s.

In November, Lubbock County voters will either approve or reject a $35 million bond issue for a new medical examiner’s facility. The total project cost will be $45.3 million but federal money will cover $10 million.

The current location is in the 4400 block of South Loop 289.