Medical Examiner McGee under investigation in Ramsey County

Dr. Michael McGee, the longtime medical examiner whose company makes $1 million working as a contractor for Ramsey County and many other jurisdictions, is under investigation after a judge determined he gave false testimony in a murder case, MPR reports.

The case involved McGee’s testimony in a Douglas County trial of a man convicted of killing his infant daughter. The father is getting a new trial, after the judge ruled McGee’s testimony was false.

Says the story:

 The case has raised questions about the quality of McGee’s work and the lack of oversight of medical examiners in the state. McGee is a private contractor, not a county employee, and his company, M.B. McGee, P.A., earned nearly a million dollars last year, most of it from a $700,000 contract with Ramsey County. No one monitors McGee’s day-to-day work, and, like all medical examiners in Minnesota, he is not required to follow any state or national guidelines on child death investigations. His company employs four physicians, but only two — McGee and Dr. Kelly Mills — are board-certified forensic pathologists.

Fox 9 News has been reporting on McGee for some time, reporting in November 2010 about two murder cases where the ME was accused of big mistakes:

There’s no doubt that doctor Michael McGee is a powerful man. His office does autopsy work for 13 Minnesota counties. He’s the chief medical examiner for Ramsey and Washington counties. But his critics question the amount of money he makes, the credentials of his staff and some of his conclusions that helped put people in prison.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said, in a statement reported by MPR:

“While I believe that we should not rush to judgment about the difficult work of medical examiners, which often times is challenged by differing opinions offered by competing medical examiners at trial, we will also not hesitate to initiate a review of that work when it is warranted by specific circumstances.”

The story said Choi noted that an internal review of rape cases in Ramsey County where McGee’s test results were questioned found:

“That assessment found that those cases were handled properly by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner,” the statement said. “If necessary, we will undertake a similar assessment upon resolution of the Douglas County case to ensure that justice and public safety are served.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 09/07/2011 - 10:30 am.

    If Ramsey County’s $700,000 share of Dr. McGee’s annual $1 million in earnings, and he plus one colleague handle all the forensic work for several counties, I’d guess the county could save perhaps $550,000 per year by hiring one full-time doctor to carry out such services for it.

  2. Submitted by Victor Whitehorse on 09/24/2011 - 04:31 pm.

    He messed up on my brother’s autopsy and we are in the process of trying to get my brother’s case reopened. Lack of any oversight is a big question, He made no attempts to conduct a proper autopsy.

  3. Submitted by Anna Bork on 10/24/2011 - 07:45 pm.

    Kind of wondering how many innocent people went to prison for his mistakes. I can name one. But not really my business to get into it. Of course he will get away with every mistake he has done. Higher officials, not saying he is, but he will get away with it.

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