At least 3,600 pills are missing from the Broward County Office of the Medical Examiner and Trauma Services, according to a blistering report released yesterday by the Broward inspector general that reveals pervasive and destructive neglect by the leadership in the Broward County Office of the Medical Examiner that goes back years.
|Broward County OIG|
|Evidentiary photo included in the report|
To give you an idea of how bad this report is, the words gross mismanagement are in the title of the report, and the terms flabbergasted and loosey goosey appear on page one.
The findings level crushing charges against former ME supervisor Linda Krivjanik and her boss, longtime Chief Medical Examiner Joshua Perper, who is made to look as if he was sitting around like a clueless stooge while Krivjanik allegedly robbed the office blind. Allegations also land on other medical examiners -- one investigator explained to OIG agents:
Some investigators never followed procedures, including never counting medications, much less logging them into the computer system. He also stated that one investigator merely kept a big black garbage bag in her office, where she stored medications without logging them.
The report also quotes a second medical investigator as saying he was "'flabbergasted' by the way in which the ME operated compared to other places he had worked... The manner in which investigators performed their duties was in 'total conflict' with the Manual."
Below is the story outlined in the report. It should be noted up-front that no one has been convicted of anything.
The unraveling of Krivjanik's alleged pill scheme starts early in October 2011, when a medical investigator (unnamed in the report) started noticing unsealed evidence bags and missing inventory forms. As time went on, he also started noticing Krivjanik bringing investigation boxes into her office but bringing black trash bags out. Soon, Krivjanik was doing this every Friday, and black trash bags began piling up in the file room.
This lax "filing system" wasn't out of the ordinary for this office -- before they landed in their current office, medical investigators were housed in a trailer in which one said they stored medications in a bathroom.
|Broward County OIG|
On October 28, the suspicious medical investigator watched Krivjanik bring medication boxes into her office. He said he saw her take a brown evidence bag out of the box, rip off the inventory form, and open the bag. A sandwich bag sat empty on her desk. She pulled out a plastic bottle and poured pills into her hand.
It's here, the investigator said, he believes she looked up and saw him.
Krivjanik placed the paper bag on the ground, walked out of her office, and shredded the inventory forms.
The Monday after that, the investigator decided to do some searching. It was Halloween night, and he went to the file room and opened a garbage bag. Inside, he found paper bags and containers of medication in "total disarray," with numerous oxycodone pills missing. He took his findings to the interim chief medical examiner, Darin Trelka, the next day, on Trelka's first day on the job after Perper's retirement.