Former chief medical examiner’s medical license suspended for 18 months

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The medical license of former state Chief Medical Examiner Richard Callery was suspended for 18 months, effective last week.

A hearing earlier in the summer recommended the suspension for Callery. As Chief Medical Examiner, Callery’s office was hit by a scandal over tampering of evidence in drug cases.

Callery had served as Chief Medical Examiner from 1997 to 2014 when he was fired from the post.

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According to filings, Callery was not working full time at the office and performed numerous autopsies in Rhode Island on a contractural basis and bill the state upwards of $167,000 for his work.

The order also indicated that he used a state vehicle while doing other private work and was dealing with outside work while at the Medical Examiner’s office in Wilmington.

He pleaded no contest to state charges, paid restitution and was allowed to keep his license with the judge recommending he perform community service, acording to the filings. (See above).

A state hearing examiner later recommended that Callery’s license should be suspended for reasons related to the practice of medicine. The state Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline agreed.

The Medical Examiner’s Office ended up being under the Department of Public Safety, rather than the Department of Health and Social Services, despite concerns of the office being subject to pressure from the state’s umbrella law enforcement agency.

Efforts also got underway to modernize the physical plant of the office that handles autopsies in the state.

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