Photos and VideosMore Photos and Videos
An interview with Dr. Joshua Perper.
The Broward medical examiner who autopsied Anna Nicole Smith and presided over several other high profile cases said Thursday he was surprised when he heard he won't be reappointed by Gov. Rick Scott.
Scott rejected a recommendation Wednesday to reappoint Dr. Joshua Perper to the position he's held for the past 17 years.
Perper told NBC Miami he heard the news Wednesday but hadn't been contacted by the governor's office until he got a call on Thursday.
"... a call from the staff of the governor informed me that they wanted me to know that the governor did not terminate my term as a medical examiner neither did he reject my reappointment at this point, but he wants to see additional names," Perper said. "Obviously, the reasonable conclusion is that he would like to nominate someone else or he has doubts about my nomination."
Perper added that he would like to be informed of the reasons so he can plan his decisions.
"Obviously, yes. It did upset me ...," Perper said.
"I don't understand why the governor made his decision," Perper had said earlier. "I am surprised because it's something which is unexpected and I didn't receive any justification."
Scott's decision was announced at a meeting of the Florida Medical Examiners Commission in Tampa, where eight other district medical examiners were reappointed, according to the Miami Herald.
The only name recommended to Scott for Broward was Perper's. He asked the commission to give him additional names for consideration.
"Governor Scott wants to have options when choosing who will be the Medical Examiner going forward for Broward County. It’s difficult to have options when only one name has been submitted," Scott's press secretary, Lane Wright, said in a statement.
Wright said Perper hasn't been excluded from consideration and no final decisions have been made.
The 78-year-old Romanian-born doctor came to fame during the 2007 examination into the death of Smith, who died after her lifeless body was found in a room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood.
His office also presided over the 1995 autopsy of model Krissy Taylor and 2003 autopsy of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler, who collapsed during Spring Training.
Earlier this year, Perper's son, Dr. Zvi Perper was arrested during a series of raids on South Florida pill mills. The younger Perper pleaded not guilty.
Perper said he'll likely retire if he doesn't keep the position.
"Eventually a new medical examiner will be appointed and I'll retire," Perper said. "I will miss it, it's a position that's very challenging and very interesting."