Courts & Crime

Narcotics stolen, unaccounted for at Florida Medical Examiner’s Office

Thousands of narcotic pills, including oxycodone and hydrocodone were stolen and unaccounted for at the Broward County Office of the Medical Examiner and Trauma Services, according to a report issued Monday by the Inspector General’s office.

The report, based on an investigation launched in November, alleges that employees at the Medical Examiner’s Office, including former Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Joshua Perper, for years have mismanaged medical inventory, and failed to ensure that medications were properly secured, cataloged and destroyed — allowing at least one former supervisor to openly steal narcotics.

Inventory and management of seized medications at the Medical Examiner’s office was so haphazard and lax, the report states, that pills were stored in garbage bags scattered throughout the office, and employees openly mocked the lack of professionalism, and derided staff meetings with Perper and their outcomes as a “joke.’’ Perper, who could not be reached at home early Monday, served as chief medical examiner from 1994 until he resigned in October.

“Our investigation revealed a disturbing lack of professionalism at the Medical Examiner’s Office,’’ said John Scott, Broward’s inspector general.

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