Medical Examiner Talks About Resignation

1 decade 11 months 4 weeks ago February 28, 2006 Feb 28, 2006 Tuesday, February 28 2006 Tuesday, February 28, 2006 5:20:42 PM CST in News
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"I was working very hard. That was the overriding factor. I'm autopsying everyday," Rao said. "No other office where I've worked that I would do autopsies everyday. Come to work, do the same thing. It really started to get very tiresome."

The previous medical examiner performed about 285 autopsies in his last full year. Rao completed about 400 in 2005.

"I'm not a workaholic. I'm not a masochist. I want to do what is right because, at the end of the day, I have to be at ease with my conscience," she added. "Have I done the job which I was asked to do when I accepted this position? And that's the way I was trained."

Rao said the University of Missouri Hospital, which operates the medical examiner's office, told her that situation would change.

"For the past two years, I have been asking for help, with the promises that it would come," Rao said. "But, it did not come."

And, because MU pays all of the office's employees, Rao said that's a conflict of interest which news reports highlighted after the accidental death of a football player last summer.

"I got a lot of heat on the Aaron O'Neal case because the media constantly referred to the fact that my paycheck was coming from the university, and so I would side with the university in the investigation of this death and that did not happen," said Rao. "But, perception is reality, so they look at me like I was in cahoots with the university and I wasn't."

Dr. Eddie Adelstein will take over as interim medical examiner until there is a permanent replacement for Rao.

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