San Joaquin County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a new model for investigating deaths in the wake of allegations that the coroner, who is also the elected sheriff, used his political office to shield officers who killed civilians.
The 5-0 vote eliminated the office of the coroner, currently run by the Sheriff Steve Moore, and replaced it with a medical examiner’s office run by a board-certified forensic pathologist.
“I will support whatever you determine is best, because I want what is best for San Joaquin County," Moore told supervisors before the vote. "I have always endeavored to do that in everything I’ve done while I have been sheriff-coroner.”
Moore came under heavy scrutiny last year after pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu quit along with colleague Dr. Susan Parson. Omalu, renowned for his discovery of a concussion-related disease in football players, accused the sheriff of thwarting death investigations by withholding evidence and pressuring them to change their findings.
Moore has repeatedly denied the allegations.