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.”