Cobb County medical examiner sends resignation letter

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. —

The Cobb County medical examiner has announced his plans to resign.

Dr. Brian Frist sent his letter of resignation to the chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, Tim Lee, announcing his plans.

The letter says Frist plans to retire when his current contract ends on Sept. 30.

Frist’s office was recently the subject of a critical audit. Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt reported on the audit last month. It was completed after a father brought concerns to the commissioners about how the M.E.’s Office handled his son’s death.

Tom Cheek’s son died in 2012. Cheek complained that Frist’s operation did not handle his son’s case well and doesn’t provide a good service at a competitive cost for taxpayers.

“I do spend about five minutes every month warning you that the Cobb County Medical Examiner’s Office is administratively, operationally and from the standpoint of qualifications and oversight, dangerously substandard,” Cheek said to commissioners.

Cheek’s criticism led to an audit of the M.E.’s Office, which uncovered more than two dozen questions, including whether Frist should be allowed to use the M.E.’s Office for free to do private autopsies, whether Frist should use county workers for his private practice, and whether Frist should be certified in forensic pathology. The audit said the office needs improvement in tracking its caseload.

Commission chair Tim Lee said sometimes Frist does a good job as the medical examiner and Frist told Cavitt that even though the audit points out some potential operational and procedural problems, it does not in any way condemn his work.