Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, Dr. Mark Fajardo has quit his job after two years as top medical examiner.
Fajardo’s office—one of the nation’s busiest, with about 8,500 physical examinations per year—was facing a $3.2 million budget cut.
“Ultimately, I wasn’t supplied the resources I need to perform my job duties,” he says. “Every year we made requests for positions that needed to be filled. … Each year we were not supplied the personnel we need.”
Now the office could lose accreditation from the National Association of Medical Examiners, meaning autopsies and other work there would lose credibility.
Meanwhile, 180 bodies are awaiting examinations in the morgue, and toxicology tests are taking more than half a year to complete, delays that tie up funerals, life insurance payouts, and civil and criminal cases.
As for Fajardo, he’s going back to his old job as top forensic pathologist in Riverside County.