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Joshua Perper resigned from his post as Broward County medical examiner in September, but his successor will not be appointed until next week. The medical examiner's office has come under fire again with a new independent report that describes it as disorganized and inefficient.
A damning new report released Wednesday paints the Broward County medical examiner's office as disorganized, inefficient and hampered by mismanagement, the Miami Herald reported Thursday.
The independent review by the Pasco and Pinellas county medical examiner announced its findings just days before Broward is due to announce a new medical examiner.
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.
The report also found that 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.
The new report recommends that the Broward medical examiner's office hire an experienced operations manager, cut down on meetings and on visitors during examinations and put in place policies to secure the dead's medications and other belongings — among other things.
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.
Then, in September, Joshua Perper quit his post as medical examiner a week after Gov. Rick Scott failed to reappoint him to the job. Perper's place has been filled by an interim appointee, but his successor is due to be appointed next week, county administrators told the Sun Sentinel.