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Forensic pathologist slams county sheriff
Dr. Parson resigns, citing unbearable work environment
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Sheriff Steve Moore is fighting to retain his favorable stance with the San Joaquin County voters seven months before reaching out in an upcoming election for another term in the Sheriff’s Office after a first-year forensic pathologist in the coroner’s office slammed him for allegedly interfering in her professional judgment.

Moore is the sheriff, coroner and public administrator for the county having served nearly three terms being first elected in November 2007 with the next vote set for June 2018.

Dr. Susan Parson said Tuesday in a resignation letter, effective next February, that she had accepted a position in the coroner’s office in Stockton in 2016 for a chance to work with noted Chief Forensic Pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, who has been studying degenerative brain disease in football players featured in the movie Concussion.  

In her letter, she charged that the sheriff had attempted to control the physicians’ professional judgment and conclusions — making her daily experiences in the coroner’s office unbearable.  While claiming Moore exhibited retaliatory behavior and arrogant expectations, it was not clear whether she had ever gone to the Sheriff and discussed her grievances.  

In a prepared release from the sheriff Tuesday afternoon, he responded, saying: 

“As the sheriff and coroner of this county, I take my job extremely seriously.  As coroner, the law requires me to make the final determination in the manner of death of each case processed here at the office. I deeply value the work of Pathologist Susan Parson and am sad to learn she has a negative view of our experience working together.  However, I want to make it clear that at no time did I attempt to control or influence her professional judgment and conclusions.”

Dr. Parson has promised to send the county administrator and the members of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors an addition to her resignation letter in the near future noting specific instances with Moore of arrogance and alleged abuses. 


To contact Glenn Kahl, email