CT Chief Medical Examiner's office loses full accreditation - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT Chief Medical Examiner's office loses full accreditation

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Office of the Chief Medical Examiner lost full accreditation on Wednesday. (WFSB file photo) Office of the Chief Medical Examiner lost full accreditation on Wednesday. (WFSB file photo)
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  • CT medical examiner failing to meet national standards

    CT medical examiner failing to meet national standards

    Thursday, November 3 2016 7:06 PM EDT2016-11-03 23:06:25 GMT
    Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (WFSB)Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (WFSB)

    The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner lost their accreditation from a highly respected association. The loss of accreditation means the office is about to lose It's all centered around the lack of forensic pathologists to handle a skyrocketing caseload.  

    More >

    The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner lost their accreditation from a highly respected association. The loss of accreditation means the office is about to lose It's all centered around the lack of forensic pathologists to handle a skyrocketing caseload.  

    More >
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner lost full accreditation on Wednesday.

The announcement by the National Association of Medical Examiners comes after it was determined that Connecticut office failed to meet national standards in November 2016.  

The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was “downgraded to provisional status.” The National Association of Medical Examiners said their office has “has until September 2017 to show sufficient progress in correcting the deficiencies to be eligible for full accreditation.”

Eyewitness News spoke to Attorney Ryan McWuigan about how the change in accreditation could impact trials in court. He said ""For the office, it means that you have one of the accreditating agencies basically saying that the job that you're doing there is not up to the standards of their agency and it could seriously undermine any testimony that anybody from the medical examiner's office gives in court, it would be rife for cross examination of any attorney worth their salt to be able or attack any of the conclusions of any people from the office." 

The I-Team first examined backlogs at the medical examiner’s office in 2011. Years have passed since the station’s first reports and the problems found out it's only gotten worse.  

The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has four major deficiencies that resulted in the accreditation. Three of those relate to inadequate staffing including medical examiners, investigators, and medical record staff.

The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will work with United States Office of Personnel Management and Department of Administrative Services.

Members of the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is expected to testify at the legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriation’s hearing on Feb. 23.

In a statement on Wednesday, Senate Republican President Len Fasano said "The chief medical examiner’s office losing its accreditation shows the insanity of the state’s priorities. We knew this was coming. We were warned in the spring that the Democrats’ budget cuts would result in this outcome. We were warned again in the fall. But still the governor refused to take action and restore the $398,700 that he cut to that office. Without accreditation, every piece of evidence in every case processed by that office will be called into question. This is a core public health and public safety necessity. Ultimately losing accreditation will be a significant cost to the state and municipalities and an extreme hardship for our criminal justice system. If the state has a budget surplus, which the governor claims we do, why would he not use that now to preserve the state’s accreditation?”

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