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Famed CTE Doctor Resigns As San Joaquin Chief Medical Examiner

Paul Sancya / AP

Dr. Bennet Omalu talks with Dr. Ira R. Casson, Neurologist and former co-chairman, NFL Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, before a House Judiciary Committee hearing in 2010.

Paul Sancya / AP

San Joaquin County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Bennet Omalu submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday, the second forensic pathologist to resign in the past eight days over the sheriff’s alleged interference with their duties.

Dr. Omalu’s letter of resignation begins, “With tears in my eyes and with a very heavy heart, I hereby submit my letter of resignation.” 

He goes on to write about the complaints of his colleague Dr. Sue Parson who resigned late last month

Both write that San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore overstepped his bounds as the county coroner in attempting “to control and influence” their professional judgment and conclusions. 

That included, in some cases, he says of changing the manner of death from homicide to an accident especially cases involving law enforcement officers.

Sheriff Moore was out of the office and unavailable for comment but had previously denied those accusations. 

Omalu, who was known for his work on concussions suffered by professional football players, says in those difficult days San Joaquin County offered a home and gave him hope, and for this, he was grateful.

He is required to give a three-month notice of resignation but will stop performing autopsies effective Dec. 5 so he can close 150 pending and open cases.

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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