Records reveal more about resignation and settlement at medical examiner’s office

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — acquired new information last week and this week concerning the resignation of John Lang as Lubbock County Medical Examiner.

Lang resigned effective immediately before a County Commissioner’s meeting on July 13. That same day, the commissioners settled out of court with Devontai Gaines for more than $27,000. The settlement was for claims of “discrimination.”

But specifics had not been revealed publicly until now.

Gaines was employed in the ME’s office as a forensic investigator.

In late April, Lang wrote to the county’s HR director and accused Gaines of releasing jurisdiction on a body that should have been set aside for autopsy. Not long after that, Gaines was instructed to turn in his keys and ID badge.

But even before that, a lawyer for Gaines wrote a letter to Lubbock County in March. The letter claimed racial discrimination, and unpaid overtime.

Concerning the racism claim, the letter said, “Dr. Lang has referred to Mr. Gaines as a ‘monkey.’”

Lang also wrote in his emails to HR that he felt Gaines discriminated against him on the basis of religion. Lang was studying to become baptized into a particular faith.

Lang took over after a company called NAAG chose note to stay on with the county. NAAG was hired to act as the administration for the office of medical examiner. NAAG was accused of taking body parts without permission for research – a claim NAAG has denied.

The Texas Rangers and FBI continued their investigation of the M.E.’s office at the time of our open records requests. That was the basis of delaying and/or withholding certain records according to communication from the Austin office of Texas Department of Public Safety.

Related Story: Justice Dept., Texas Rangers raided Lubbock County ME’s Office on Monday (September 23, 2019)

In September 2019, not long after allegations against NAAG surfaced, the office of medical examiner was the subject of a raid by DPS officers and FBI agents.

We do not have a current phone number for Dr. Lang. But if we reach him, and he chooses to comment, we will provide an update.

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