LUBBOCK, Texas — NAAG Pathology labs issued a public statement Thursday morning saying “some public officials” created a “toxic political environment.”
NAAG recently withdrew as the company overseeing the office of Lubbock County Medical Examiner.
The company was accused in two lawsuits of harvesting the organs of dead children without the consent of families.
There was also an allegation that one of the doctor’s associated with NAAG performed an autopsy without first getting a medical license in Texas. The Texas Medical Board rejected the allegation.
Federal and state authorities raided the office of medical examiner in September. So far no charges have been linked to that raid.
A new medical examiner has been appointed since that time, and some local autopsies now go to Tarrant County instead of staying in Lubbock.
Statement from the NAAG Pathology Labs
In May 2019, our group announced it would not renew its contract with Lubbock County because of the toxic political environment and “personal political agendas” of some public officials.
It is clear based on the continued statements being made by county officials that these outrageous, false and defamatory activities will continue, with local families caught in the middle.
Our attorneys previously provided the Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office with an outline of the steps that are needed to be taken for us to help responsibly resolve the outstanding cases, and on Tuesday had a positive call with that office. It seemed from the call that Lubbock County was interested in addressing this matter cooperatively.
However, it is clear from the misleading statements being made to the media by others within the county’s administration that those officials do not understand or are choosing to ignore the most basic legal considerations for protecting the integrity, security, accuracy and quality of work of a trained, certified forensic pathologist. None of this would be an issue had the county followed our reasonable proposal to resolve these cases and we believe the county could have recruited a highly qualified forensic pathologist as its medical examiner were it not for this political mess.
It is vital that all recognize that the medical examiner’s office is an integral part of the criminal justice system. The accuracy and quality of its work is vital to providing justice for victims of crimes and assuring that the innocent are not wrongfully accused. This role should not be ignored or taken lightly for political reasons.
We regret that local families, and our team, are now both paying the price for what appears to be a political vendetta. It would have been far more productive for Dr. Lang to have returned our phone call last week to try to constructively discuss these issues as opposed to carrying on a media campaign that only harms the citizens of Lubbock County.