The Texas Department of Public Safety said on Friday that Texas Rangers opened an investigation into the office of Lubbock County Medical Examiner.
“The Lubbock District Attorney’s office asked that the Texas Rangers would investigate allegations made against the Medical Examiner’s office,” said Lieutenant Bryan Witt with DPS. “Those results will be released to the DA’s office.”
Witt did not have a timetable for how long the investigation might last.
Lubbock County Commissioners on Friday released an agenda for an upcoming meeting on Monday. It includes an item about the office of Medical Examiner.
26. Discuss, consider and/or take action to authorize the Commissioner’s Court to review an agreement with NAAG Pathology Labs, P.C. [the] company hired to administer and operate as the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish said, “I can’t comment on any ongoing investigation.”
Neal Burt, the Civil Division Chief for the Lubbock County D.A., said “We’ve asked for it to include any and all allegations.”
“Because of the referral for investigation, our office is not at liberty to go into specifics,” Burt said.
Burt also said, “Any further inquiries can be made to the public info officer with DPS.”
On August 15, 2018 then-outgoing Chief Medical Examiner Sridhar Natarjan received a letter that said, “Yesterday, we received a complaint about you from an employee that included allegations about recent actions and behaviors; some of these allegations were startling.”
Last year, Natarajan said he was never told what those startling allegations were. (We have reached out to Natarajan to see if there’s an update.)
Also, open records from Lubbock County reveal that the Texas Medical Board subpoenaed information about the office as well as Dr. Sam Andrews.
The TMB also subpoenaed Lubbock County for a copy of the agreement with NAAG Pathology.
After this was initially published, the office of District Attorney released the following statement:
The Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, through elected D.A. Sunshine Stanek, has made a referral for investigation to the Texas Rangers in order to address any and all potential allegations with the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office. As a result of said referral for investigation, the Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney’s Office has no further comments at this time regarding said matter. Any further inquiries can be made to Lt. Bryan Witt, Public Information Officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety.