FitzGerald appoints new Cuyahoga County medical examiner

12:36 PM, Apr 28, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has tapped a Connecticut deputy medical examiner to be the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner.

FitzGerald named Dr. Thomas Gilson, currently Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Connecticut. He replaces the previously elected Cuyahoga County Coroner.

"The people have asked for new leadership in Cuyahoga County. The public should be assured we are moving in a new direction," he said, in a prepared statement. Gilson will be presented to county council in the near future, FitzGerald said.

On Feb. 11, FitzGerald fired Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller, Engineer Robert Klaiber Jr., Adult Services Director Susan Axelrod and Children and Family Services Director Deborah Forkas.

None have been appointed to their previous jobs.

Klaiber, whose former employee J. Kevin Kelley is one of the top three players in the Cuyahoga County corruption probe, professed to be unaware of corrupt behavior by some of his employees.

Miller was embroiled in a controversy when he said he was pressured into hiring Pat Coyne, someone with ties to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason. Forkas's office was in controversy last year, dealing with placement of children.

Gilson previously served as Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Rhode Island, seven years in the New York City Office of the Medical Examiner, and in the New Hampshire Medical Examiner's office.

Gilson has practiced in the death investigation field since completion of his pathology residency at the University of Cincinnati in 1994.

"Dr. Gilson was credited for reforming and turning around the Rhode Island Office of the Medical Examiner. When Tom arrived, the office had long delays for service and was not accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners, but he changed that," County Executive FitzGerald said.

The Providence Journal reported in 2009 that Dr. Gilson earned "credit for turning around a problem-plagued office "during his three and a half years as Chief and "cleared a two-year backlog of autopsy reports," citing health department sources.


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