Broward County Gets New Chief Medical Examiner

Armed Forces medical examiner taking over "mismanaged" agency

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Days after a report was released that painted the Broward medical examiner's office as a disorganized and mismanaged mess, the department is getting a new chief.

    Dr. Craig Mallak was named the new Chief Medical Examiner and director for the Office of Medical Examiner and Trauma Services for Broward County, the county announced Wednesday.

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    Mallak has over 20 years of experience with the Armed Forces serving in a medical capacity, most recently as the U.S. Armed Forces Medical Examiner. He'll become the new chief in Broward following his formal release from active duty.

    "Dr. Mallak brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Broward County," Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry said in a statement. "His credentials are impressive and extensive including degrees in criminalistics, law and medicine, and board certification from the American Board of Pathology in anatomic, clinical and forensic pathology."

    Mallak takes over for Dr. Joshua Perper, who served as chief medical examiner for 17 years and retired in October after he was blamed for mismanagement at the office.

    Perper's place had been filled by an interim appointee.

    Last week, a report compiled through an independent review by the Pasco and Pinellas county medical examiner was released, detailing disorganization, mismanagement and inefficiencies in the Broward department.

    The investigation into the Broward agency was launched in response to a February report by the Inspector General that suggested the medical examiner had mismanaged the dead's belongings, among them thousands of missing narcotic pills and $3,000.

    The Broward agency takes too long to release of the dead and improperly seizes their belongings, the report found. The office is in such disarray and its resources are stretched so thin that its probes into deaths "suffer greatly," according to the review.

    According to the report, the office had a habit of taking on tasks that fall outside its official duties and wasting time it could spend on those duties in meetings. It criticized what it said was the office's overuse of toxicology tests, which had created a backlog at the lab, and overpayment for histology.