Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner Placed on Leave
By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Medical Examiner has been placed on paid administrative leave.
The following is a statement provided by Spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard:
"The Board of Medicolegal Investigations moves that Collie Trant, M.D. be placed on paid administrative leave pending investigation into concerns raised during the Executive Session, with the understanding that Dr. Trant be available for any necessary meetings. Dr. Trant will relinquish all keys and pass cards until further notice. Furthermore, Dr. Trant's single point of contact for all medical matters will be Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Eric Duval, D.O. and all other questions or concerns regarding non-medical matters will be directed to any Board member until further notice."
Doctor Trant accepted the position of Chief Medical Examiner in March of last year. He came into the office amid controversy including the loss of its federal accreditation and sexual battery indictments against its former chief investigator Kevin Rowland. His arrival was a sign of change.
"We are looking at ways we can make this office a better place and run more efficiently," said Cherokee Ballard, ME Office Spokeswoman after OSBI began their investigation.
The Board won't comment on why Dr. Trant was suspended, but a source told NEWS 9 this happened because Dr. Trant may have found evidence that leads him to believe the sexual harassment allegations against Kevin Rowland are not true.
The concern across the legal community now is the credibility of Dr. Trant.
For instance, Dr. Trant is a key witness in last year's highly publicized pharmacy shooting where the pharmacist shot and killed a teenage robber.
NEWS 9 Legal Analyst Irven Box is the defense attorney for pharmacist Jerome Ersland. He said these new revelations could complicate this case and many others.
"He did the examination in the Jerome Ersland case. He personally did it as the Chief Medical Examiner. So, if he's now under fire from them, then that could affect credibility once he's called to testify in this case.," Box said.
Now, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Eric Duval will handle medical matters like autopsies.
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