LUBBOCK, Texas — The State Medical Board rejected allegations that Dr. Evan Matshes practiced medicine in Texas without a license while assisting the Lubbock County Medical Examiner during an autopsy according to a statement released Tuesday.
Back in February, EverythingLubbock.com reported that the Texas Rangers opened an investigation into the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s office, and the results of the investigation would be released to the District Attorney’s office. Open records also revealed that the Texas Medical Board subpoenaed information about the office, as well as Dr. Sam Andrews.
Among the allegations, at least one family, one former employee and one former contractor accused the medical examiner’s office of removing organs from children without the consent of their families, as previously reported by EverythingLubbock.com.
The full Texas Medical Board was in session, and the disciplinary process review committee recommended that the investigation be closed based on information presently available, according to a June 20 letter sent from the Texas Medical Board enforcement division to Dr. Matshes and Dr. Andrews.
“Our mission is always the best to utilize the best medicine and science to get to the truth when it is necessary to determine a cause of death,” said Andrews in a written statement on Tuesday. “It is difficult exacting and sometimes emotionally draining, especially when you are dealing with the death of a child.”
Matshes added he was proud of the work done in Lubbock County and looks forward to continue to service the criminal justice community in the future.
“This should never be a political issue,” he said.
Last year, Lubbock County hired a company called NAAG to administer the office. NAAG recently announced it will not renew its contract with the county.
Also recently, a district judge threw out a lawsuit against Matshes and Andrews by Tita Senee Graves, alleging she was wrongfully fired from her investigators job at the medical examiner’s office. Graves raised the allegations of practicing medicine without a license.
The following is the full text of a statement released by NAAG, Matshes and Andrews:
Lubbock, Texas (June 25, 2019) – The Texas Medical Board found no reason to take action on false allegations that Dr. Evan Matshes practiced medicine in Texas without a license when he assisted the Lubbock County Medical Examiner during an autopsy. The board also closed the investigation into the role of Dr. Sam Andrews, who performed the autopsies in question.
Dr. Sam Andrews, who is licensed in Texas, made all medical decisions concerning the procedure and conclusions concerning the cause of death, and signed both the report and death certificate. Dr. Matshes assisted by teaching the county autopsy technicians about proper forensic photography techniques, as well as how to safely and effectively assist a forensic pathologist with modern autopsy techniques.
The Medical Board’s decision was announced the same day a district judge threw out a lawsuit against Dr. Matshes and Dr. Andrews by Tita Senee Graves alleging that they had gotten her fired from her investigators job at the Medical Examiner’s Office. Graves raised the allegations of practicing medicine without a license in her lawsuit.
“Once again we have been vindicated after someone was able to review the facts,” said Dr. Matshes. “It is incredibly difficult to read stories in the media you know are based on false accusations and wait for the legal process to get to the truth.
“We appreciate the court and the Texas Medical Board in helping to clear our names of some of the most outrageous allegations made against us and hope the next Lubbock County Medical examiner will not face these same overwhelming challenges.
“Our mission is always to utilize the best medicine and science to get to the truth when it is necessary to determine a cause of death,” said Dr. Andrews. “It is difficult, exacting and sometimes emotionally draining especially when you are dealing with the death of a child.
“I am proud of the work we have done in Lubbock County and look forward to continue to service the criminal justice community in the future,” said Dr. Matshes. “This should never be a political issue.”