Chief M.E. Candidate Accused Of Ethics Violations - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Board Interviews Chief M.E. Candidate Convicted Of Ethics Violations

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Dr. William Cox is a candidate being considered to become Oklahoma's chief medical examiner. Dr. William Cox is a candidate being considered to become Oklahoma's chief medical examiner.
Cox is the third candidate in a row with a questionable background to be considered for the position. Cox is the third candidate in a row with a questionable background to be considered for the position.

Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Board of Medicolegal Investigations interviewed a chief medical examiner candidate with a history of ethics violations Thursday.

The Oklahoma Impact team first reported last week that Dr. William Cox pleaded guilty to ethical violations in Ohio when he was a county coroner there.

Court documents showed Cox pleaded guilty to nine ethics violations in 1996 and was forced to pay $140,000 in restitution. The documents also showed Cox used county facilities to do autopsies for other counties for personal profit. Cox received a six month suspended sentence but did serve a one month sentence in a half-way house.

Read the court documents

In an e-mail, one of the board members, who oversees the Medical Examiner's office, defended the violations, pointing out that all the charges were reduced to misdemeanors. A spokesperson for the M.E.'s office said the board was aware of the "situation in Ohio."

However, Cox said he hopes to put the past behind him.

"Sometimes things occur in life that aren't fair. If you refuse to retreat and go sit in a corner and cry, you're going to find 10 years from now you are still in that same corner. You haven't evolved. You haven't done anything. What I've chosen to do is move forward," Cox said.

Cox is the third person in a row who the board has considered hiring with a questionable background.

The board announced it has tabled a decision on whether Cox will be hired for the position until January 13.

Cox is Rhode Island's acting chief medical examiner, but he was placed on administrative leave Thursday pending state police background checks. Rhode Island's Health Department spokeswoman said Thursday that Cox had disclosed the conviction, but officials are concerned "that there may be additional past criminal or ethical charges" against him.

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