News6 Investigates


Arrest affidavit: Shaker, multiple people lied in order to hire Lyden

Medical Examiner's Office.jpg
Posted at 1:06 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 00:05:12-04

UPDATE (5:26 p.m. Wednesday): Shaker bonded out of jail Wednesday evening.


Nueces County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Adel Shaker told county staff that Dr. Sandra Lyden had valid licensure to work at the medical examiner's office — going as far as to provide a reportedly false temporary provisional license number, according to the Texas Ranger who swore out Shaker's arrest affidavit.

Shaker was arrested Tuesday; the paper trail related to his arrest goes back as far as October 2021.

In the affidavit acquired by KRIS 6 News on Wednesday, Texas Ranger Patrick O'Connor states that on Dec. 9, 2021, Shaker penned a handwritten note in which he states Lyden had received the permission. O'Connor, however, was unable to verify license #490579 on the Texas Medical Board website during the course of his investigation.

After stating Lyden's credentials were intact, on Dec. 18, 2021, communication between Shaker and Lyden indicates Lyden doesn't have her license.

"Alex is asking me for my license. I am trying to stall," Lyden wrote in one text message.

The report also states Shaker knowingly misled others in the office.

"Dr. Shaker wrote a hand written note that stated, 'I asked Dr. Lyden about her license and she said it had been mailed to FL. Address and her mother will mail (Forward to TX). She added the delay because of holiday season.' The letter was signed by Dr. Shaker," O'Connor states.

The note was written Jan. 3, more than a week before Lyden was ultimately fired Jan. 14.

KRIS 6 News first broke the news that Lyden had been practicing without a license on Jan. 21.

The embattled chief medical examiner's arrest report also alleges a pattern of reported untruths and misrepresentations from county human relations director Julie Guerra and the ME's office administrator, saying O'Connor believed both knew Lyden was practicing illegally because Texas Medical Board licenses are public information and both had the ability to verify Lyden was licensed.

License vs. permit

On Oct. 7, Shaker sent an email indicating Lyden's temporary permit had arrived, and carbon copied Guerra, Medina and administrator Minerva Rios. O'Connor states Shaker wrote "Will do everything to help you and assist in issuing your medical license!" and attached a signed emergency visiting practitioner temporary permit, which Guerra responded had been put in Lyden's file.

On Dec. 6, though, Shaker again writes and signs a letter in which he states that Lyden received a emergency visiting practitioner temporary permit.

According to the Texas Medical Board's website, the temporary permit only is valid for 10 days. It can be extended, however it is unclear whether an extension was requested and/or granted on Lyden's behalf.

Two weeks later, however, Lyden emailed Medina, writing "I do not understand why they cannot just issue me a temporary license though. I hope Shaker does not give up on me."

The criteria for temporary, or provisional, medical licenses in Texas is more stringent.

According to the Texas Medical Board's website, applicants "May not have an unacceptable criminal history," criteria which may have made Lyden ineligible.

During the hiring process in October 2021, Lyden had asked Medina whether a DUI would "cause problems." She also wrote to county human relations director Julie Guerra, saying she was hoping to qualify for a provisional license, "but I read they require fingerprints."

O'Connor also states that during his investigation, that he found that Lyden had told the medical board she had not been arrested, charged with a violation of the law, been placed on probation or granted deferred adjudication.

These assertions turned out to be untrue, however, as indicated by her earlier question to Medina. O'Connor said he found an arrest and conviction for two criminal offenses — a DUI crash and leaving the scene of a crash and crashing again in a neighboring county. She had been put on probation for nine months.

O'Connor said during his interview with Lyden that she ultimately admitted to not being truthful with the medical board.

The paperwork cites information acquired during investigations conducted by the Nueces County District Attorney's Office, Corpus Christi Police Department officers and the Texas Department of Public Safety's Texas Rangers division.

Former chief medical examiner Dr. Ray Fernandez currently is running the ME's office, said county commissioner Brent Chesney.

Nueces County Commissioner's Court offered the chief medical examiner's position to Dr. Timothy Fagen, who currently works in the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office. He is board certified, and holds specialties in forensic pathology, and anatomic and clinical pathology.

This is a developing story. Check back with KRIS 6 News for updates.

Buc Days Section