Lubbock County Commissioners appoint new medical examiner

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock County Commissioners appointed a new medical examiner after the previous medical examiner resigned this morning.

Dr. Charles Addington was appointed Monday morning as the county’s new medical examiner after commissioners accepted Dr. John Lang’s resignation after working for the county just under a year.

Lang was hired in 2019 to address a backlog of cases leftover from NAAG Pathology, the county’s former medical examiner. This came after NAAG Pathology was raided by federal officials and accused of removing body parts of the deceased without family permission.

“His resignation did not catch us by surprise; we knew that this was likely in the works,” Lubbock County Judge, Judge Curtis Parrish said.

Lang was hired to deal with the case backlog left by NAAG pathology and was able to clear the backlog during his tenure.

“We were seeing a backlog of cases that we didn’t settle, and we had families that were needing death certificates that were waiting, sometimes months, for them,” Parrish said. “Dr. Lang was able to come in and help us get rid of that backlog.”

In his letter of resignation, Lang said he hoped to leave his position to a forensic pathologist.

While Addington is not the forensic pathologist the commissioners had hoped for, they are confident he can help meet the needs of the medical examiner’s office.

“This is now an opportunity to revisit how we are going forward in Lubbock county and providing medical examining service in Lubbock county,” Parrish said. “We know there is a great need for it. We know that this is a growing county, so our medical examination will continue to grow and be needed.”

Addington will serve as an interim medical examiner until the end of the summer.

“The bottom line is that we want to make sure we are still providing the necessary services to the people of Lubbock County,” Parrish said. “That is the purpose of county government, and budget time is a time for us to re-examine all that to see if we are providing the services Lubbock county needs.”

Addington is not a forensic pathologist, and while he can sign death certificates and order autopsies, the county will continue their relationship with Tarrant county to conduct the autopsies.

The county commissioners are hoping to hire a forensic pathologist by the end of the summer.

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