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Commissioners vote to accept Shaker resignation Tuesday

Shaker Accuhealth.jpg
Posted at 8:24 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 13:00:38-04

Nueces County commissioners voted to accept chief medical examiner Dr. Adel Shaker's resignation effective Wednesday.

Former chief medical examiner Dr. Ray Fernandez will serve as interim until a permanent replacement for Shaker is hired.

The embattled doctor has been under fire since a KRIS 6 Investigates story revealed the deputy he hired to work alongside him was working without a valid Texas medical license.

Lyden was arrested March 7 for tampering with a government record in relation to her hiring, and charged with 21 more counts April 12 after a Texas Rangers investigation found she had been practicing without a medical license in Texas.

Shaker also was arrested April 12, charged with 17 felony violations of the Texas Occupations Code, and therefore, Texas law.

The Nueces County District Attorney's investigation into Lyden also brought to light the fact that the Texas Rangers had been looking into Shaker since at least 2020.

Further investigation determined Shaker also had been treating patients with chemical dependencies and opioid addictions in addition to his responsibilities at the ME's office, something county commissioners said they were unaware of.

"My expectations is that we hired him to do a full-time job," pct. 4 commissioner Brent Chesney in February. "He should do a full-time job."

However, Shaker's attorney Chris Gale said county judge Barbara Canales was aware.

"He hasn't been in that clinic for a couple of years, but he is providing services to patients, whether it's by Zoom or telephone," he said in February. "He had informed Judge Canales, and probably some others as well, that he was going to be doing this."

Shaker submitted his retirement letter in early February, saying his last day would be Oct. 31. It was accepted by commissioners, but they also directed the county attorney to negotiate an earlier retirement date.

In his letter, Shaker said once a new chief medical examiner is hired, he would stop performing autopsies and dedicate himself to wrapping up reports and death certificates. His predecessor Dr. Ray Fernandez also took a similar tack.

However, one commissioner wasn't fond of that plan when KRIS 6 News spoke with him about the letter.

"It depends on what he's gonna do," said pct. 2 commissioner Joe A. Gonzalez. "I mean if he's not going to be able to do any kind of work then we shouldn't have to keep on paying him so maybe he needs to be retiring earlier."

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