Rusty Surette, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Board of Medicolegal Investigations decided Friday to terminate Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Collie Trant.
The board went into an executive session around 4 p.m. Friday to discuss Trant's employment. Trant was placed on administrative leave Tuesday after concerns were raised by the board.
After about 90 minutes of deliberation, the board publicly announced Trant's termination.
The board has not yet given any explanation for their decision.
Dr. Trant's attorney, Scott Adams, said he believes emails that Trant gave the board have something to do with his client's termination. Adams said the papers are proof that an independent investigator hired by the M.E.'s office to investigate claims of sexual harassment compromised the case and the grand jury's investigation.
"He came in and he disclosed all the improprieties that he found while he's been in this office, and what does he get paid for? He gets suspended now fired," Adams said.
Adams, who was inside the executive session, said legal action will be taken, and a lawsuit could be filed as early as Monday.
Dr. Eric Duvall will fill in as acting chief medical examiner, even though he will be leaving the M.E.'s office in March.
The Board of Medicolegal Investigations is made up of a variety of professionals from different sectors of the health community. Each member is appointed by law based on the job they do. The board's chairman was not present for the meeting and on Thursday, another board member had resigned.
Trant was not in attendance at the board's meeting Friday.
Trant released the following statement regarding the board's decision:
"Undoubtedly, the Board made the decision that they felt was best for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The Office has tremendous potential with the decision to build a new facility in Edmond, and I am thankful that the University of Central Oklahoma expended such effort in making that happen, as well as that the Legislature is so supportive of it. I'm told that this is the most difficult time, economically, in Oklahoma's recent history, and I do not envy the tasks faced by the Governor and the Legislators, but I have met so many honest and committed people in those offices that I'm sure they will do the best that they possibly can, for the people of Oklahoma, under the current circumstances.
The employees in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner are some of the most dedicated and compassionate people that I have ever worked with, and I will always treasure the friendships that I have made there in the past 8 1/2 months. The agencies and people of Oklahoma are truly blessed by their presence, and I am hopeful that funding from some source will materialize to allow the hiring of more people just like them, so that the agency can deal as successfully with a full workload, as they have with the limited workload that they are able to perform now."
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