Siebert appeals decision to fire him
July 31, 2007
By Stephen D. Price
Embattled interim Bay County
medical examiner Dr. Charles Siebert has appealed a decision to fire
him and disputed a probable-cause panel report that found he
violated state law.
Siebert will defend his work in an
administrative hearing - the hearing date has not been set.
The Florida Medical Examiners
Commission voted to fire Siebert, medical examiner for District 14,
in June after an investigative report concluded he didn't do all he
claimed he'd done in his autopsy of Martin Lee Anderson. The Panama
City teen died a day after he was beaten by drill instructors at a
Bay County juvenile boot camp, an incident that was captured on
video surveillance cameras.
Siebert denied all allegations in
his petition responding to the charges and defended his decisions in
The commission said Siebert had
violated four counts of two Florida laws: misrepresenting
information upon an opinion as medical examiner and negligence.
Siebert concluded Anderson died as
a result of sickle-cell trait, a blood disorder, but Hillsborough
medical examiner Dr. Vernard Adams preformed a second autopsy that
said the 14-year-old died from suffocation. The charges against
Siebert were not related to Anderson's cause of death.
The report concluded:
Siebert claimed to have seen the
thyroid gland, but Hillsborough medical examiner Adams said he could
not have viewed the gland because muscles were still attached.
He said regarding the thyroid, he
''did remove and inspect the thyroid gland and found nothing
Adams also questioned whether
Siebert had examined the inner layers of Anderson's adrenal glands
because the glands were not sectioned in the first autopsy.
Siebert said in his response that
he did section and inspect the inner layers of the adrenal glands
and found nothing remarkable.
The panel concluded Siebert should
have done a thorough examination of Anderson's groin region.
Siebert's petition said he
''exercised his professional discretion to not dissect (the testes)
because dissection was not necessary to allow him to establish a
cause of death.''
The findings of probable cause said
Siebert did not report bruises on Anderson's thighs and right
Siebert's petition said, ''it was
evident from the video that bruising would be existent in those
areas but not responsible for the cause of death.''
Siebert was not immediately
available Monday, but he said last month that he hopes the hearing
gives him a chance to clear his name.
In May, the Medical Examiners
Commission voted to not renew his contract when it expired June 30.
The commission, with the probable-cause findings, voted to fire him
immediately earlier in June.
State Attorney Steve Meadows
appointed Siebert temporarily until a permanent replacement is