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Albany County to Celebrate 100 Years of Corruption

How Time Flies When Your Screwing the People! And doing it for 100 years!

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Albany’s Democratic Politics: A Machine that Keeps Cranking out the Same Old Business As Usual.

In 2021 Albany County Democratic Machine Will Celebrate 100 Years of Corruption. Now isn’t that something special? Only if you’re one of the bosses!

What the
Riley Kern and Joshua Abood
“Death Investigations” Teach Us About the
Albany County Democratic Machine

Well, that appears to be the mantra, the cult chant of Albany County elected officials and employees. According to the Albany history posted on the Albany County Internet site, the County is apparently proud of it’s 100 years of corruption, because on that site we read:

In 1921, Democrat William S. Hackett defeated Republican William Van Rensselaer in the mayor race. This marked the rise of the famous Albany Democratic “machine” headed by Dan O’Connell; the city has remained a Democratic stronghold to this day.

The corruption is so deeply rooted residents take it for granted, and apparently live happily with the cronyism, nepotism, political patronage, crookedness, injustice, and general depravity of a system gone rotten.

While most Americans wander asleep dreaming of the myths and slogans fed to them by their political keepers, some few awaken to the harsh reality that this is not a country governed by the rule of law nor is it classless nor is it “of the people for the people, and by the people,” neither is it a leader, unless it’s the world leader in chaos and lawlessness and paranoia. You don’t have to go to Washington, D.C., nor do you have to read the misinformation and disinformation provided to the masses by politically polarized media, both local and national. All you have to do is take a hard close look at Albany County for a mini-version of the entire country.

The Hypocrisy & Glaring Lies of the Albany County Democratic Machine

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Are you nauseous yet? It’s that Albany County Democratic Committee desecration of the flag with lies like “Love Wins.” Or have you already puked your guts out? Sorry, but that’s exactly what these political slogans cause in any reasonably thinking, awake human being to react, anyone who is familiar with what’s going on in Albany County has to start gagging. Anyone who swallows that political poison deserves to swallow their own vomit!

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Whole families are reacting to the Albany County Democratic Committee’s Message.

The Hypocrisy & Glaring Lies of the Albany County Democratic Machine

  • All people are equal – That’s why certain people are better than others in Albany County. All people are equal until it comes to services. But what’s important to the Albany County Democratic Machine is that all people are equal to one vote, even if you’re dead (If you take into consideration how the Albany County Coroners work and how Bernard T. Ng determines a cause of death, it would take some time for you to realize you’re actually dead. You’ll know after Election Day, after they count the absentee ballots. How many voters gave their address as Albany Rural Cemetery?)

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  • Love wins – Albany County makes “love” sound like a four-letter word. Maybe at Albany County Office parties but not when it comes to citizens. Albany County Dems LOVE to win, love to rule, love to control! So, when a prostitute tells you s/he loves you, you of course believe her, don’t you?
  • Black lives matter – This is how they get the Black vote; pull out the Soul Train ticket, and ride the Soul Train to the polls! Listen, dumbasses, ALL LIVES MATTER!!! Every life under the sun matters. But if you play the race ticket, some lives matter more. Hello! White Lives! Blue Lives! Old Lives! Young Lives! Stop the bullshit pandering to Blacks! Let them grow up and act like adults, and then their lives will matter to them, and to everyone else! Our mealy mouthed pabulum puking slogan slinging snake-oil salesmen have purchased black votes real cheap. Just sling a slogan and the Black vote is yours. Could it get any easier?
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They can say anything, use any word, any slogan. If you’re not Black, you get to keep silent. Buying the Black vote. While voices matter! So do white votes.

  • Immigrants & refugees are welcome – There’s that buy a minority vote with a slogan, again. So far, “Black lives matter” will get you the Black dumbasses to vote for the Machine, now they go after the Immigrants and Refugees, Hispanics and others.  OK. Here’s the Albany County Machine deal: We’ll make Albany a sanctuary city, draw all the illegals, and then they’ll owe us. But then there’s the law: If you want to enter and remain in this county do so according to our laws. Agree. Otherwise, you’re out! No free lunch! No exceptions. But the Machine has the perfect solution: Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares, he’ll pick and choose how to enforce the law; he’ll pick and choose whom to prosecute; he’ll frustrate law-enforcement until they do his bidding.
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Sí! Sí! Sancuary Sítee!

Soares and the Machine will reduce law enforcement in Albany and Albany County to a silly, asinine, impotent stereotype.

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  • Disabilities are respected – Is that why our veterans are given lip service and not much more? Is that why we look the other way when we see a disabled person or a homeless person? Poverty is as much a disability as leglessness. Albany County loves disabilities, especially mental ones; easier to control the stupid ones. Crack baby? Alcoholic mother? Dems will take care of you and your mom’s drug habit. If you lose a leg or an arm in one of the corporations’ wars, forgetaboutit! Get a job or a paper cup, you’ll need it. Not much left for veterans or the working poor once the Dems in Albany hand out everything to the rioting Blacks, the illegal immigrants, and pay their puppets’ pensions.

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  • Women are in charge of their bodiesThe mothers in the group will love this one! Translation: If you are irresponsible, of-color, a whore or a slut, and you refuse to use contraceptive while plying your trade, or too drunk to realize what or who you’re doing, Dems will fund your abortion, crush your baby’s skull, suck your baby’s brain out, and put you back on the street in 24 hours. Ask Albany Democrats. The Machine works for you. Forget t if you respect your body, and respect the life you might carry. If you’re a woman who takes responsibility and acts responsibly and not like dogs in heat, Sure! they’re in charge. Otherwise, someone else has to be in charge. What’s this crapola anyway? We’re all in charge of our bodies! Dems love to make gender an issue; weak minds can also vote. And some readers will know exactly which demographic were talking about.
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Women are in charge in the Albany County Democratic Machine.

  • People and planet are valued over profitReally? Is that the message they sent in the Riley Kern case? How about the Joshua Aboood case? OK, tell us more about this little nugget, we’re all ears. Give me a break! Get real! Albany County is one of the biggest greed, thievery, corruption games around. People are used and abused! Is that why the run for office? The love people, Blacks, immigrants and refugees, people with disabilities, diversity? Gee, if that’s true, they hate capitalism, condemn greed, want to stop economic growth! Hmmm. Where have I been…?

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  • Diversity is celebrated – OK. We know where this one is going. So far they’ve hit on Blacks, immigrants, refugess, women, the disabled, now they’re going after the LGBT group. It’s one big Love Fest; one big “Whatever-you-are, we’ll-celebrate-you, just feed the Machine!” Only if it means votes. The Democraps in Albany will celebrate anything if it keeps them in office and in power. Well, they’ll celebrate diversity until the morning after Election Day; then they celebrate having duped voters again!
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Yeah! It’s indistinct chatter, and they love diversity. You’d better like the back door, too.

The Albany County Democratic Committee chose ACDC as their acronym. But doesn’t ACDC mean going both ways? Isn’t ACDC alternating current? But don’t we call that waffling? It’s just inconsistent and unbelievable when somebody can look you in the face and say black is white and white is black?

Well, that’s how the Albany County Machine and all of its parts work. They tell you one thing, do another, and expect you to stand there and say, “Oh, yeah! You’re doing really good! I believe every lie you’re telling me! Thank you, sir! Thank you, ma’m!” It’s like they’re telling you, “You look stupid so I can tell you anything!” NOT! Big Mistake!

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Time to Name and Shame

We’ve been looking at the Albany Democratic Machine in Albany New York, a county-wide political machine that specializes in corruption, abuse, pandering to ignorant or vulnerable groups for votes, cronyism, nepotism, political patronage. Basically a machine that keeps pumping out corruption and more corruption at the expense of taxpayers, human dignity, law and order, and self-respect. It’s a group of bosses and their puppets who have been using and abusing Albany County for generations, almost 100 years, to be exact.

Key Figures Who Illustrate Political Dysfunction in the Albany County Democratic Machine. Shame on them!

  • County Executive Daniel P. McCoy
  • Albany County Court Judge Andra L. Ackerman
  • Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares
  • Albany County Legislature as a group, but especially Andrew Joyce, chairman and Wanda Wittingham, cochair.
  • Albany County Sheriff, Craig D. Apple
  • John T. McDonald III, NYS Assemblyman 108th (Cohoes)
  • NYS Police Investigator Thomas L. Burns
  • Albany County Coroners Lotterle, Cavanaugh, Marra, Keegan, Sturges
  • Albany County Coroner’s Physician, Bernard T. Ng
  • Albany Medical Center, Albany
  • Ellis Hospital, Schenectady
  • Matilda Cuomo, mother of NYS governor Andrew “Give-it-Away” Cuomo
  • (This list will be expanded. Stay tuned.)

One of the worst offenders in Albany County is Albany County District imageedit_10_2141145492Attorney P. David Soares. He’s used his office to pander to people-of-color, he’s used his office to persecute and selectively prosecute, depending on the whims of his keepers, he’s misused and abused his office as the County’s chief law-enforcement officer to foster mistrust of law and loss of confidence in law enforcement. He’s got to go!

The machine has spoken! In July, the Democratic Machine held  a primary to decide who would be on the Dem ticket for DA in November. Matthew “Matt” Toporowski, a 34-year-old private attorney and former prosecutor for Soares — what stories could he share, we wonder —, conceded to Soares after absentee ballots (How many were cast by residents of local cemeteries?) conceded the primary to Soares.  Monday, the Times Union reported that Soares’ election lawyer, James Long, said “for all intents and purposes, it is over.” But it’s not all over until the fat lady sings, Davey Boy!

imageedit_19_4680373449Matt Toporowski’s campaign opposing Soares was actually backed by Albany Mayor, the Honorable Mayor Kathy Sheehan and national celebrities. There’s no winning in Albany County unless the bosses and the Machine are backing you! That’s gotta stop! NOW!

According to a report appearing in the Albany Times Union (July 7, 2020):

Toporowski was supported by some of the city’s top Black leaders, including activist Barbara Smith and Albany County Legislator Carolyn McLaughlin, as well as Sheehan and some top national figures, such as U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and musician John Legend. Toporowski had the support of the county’s Working Families Party, which strongly backed Soares in 2004, when Soares challenged incumbent Paul Clyne and won.

Even the Working Families Party shunned Soares this time, So how does a professional like Toporowski with that kind of backing lose to an incumbent hypocrite and racist like Soares?

The Machine!

Some Related Smalbany Articles

Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office
A Response to Lorin Marra. re: Office of the Albany County Coroners
The Cover-up Continues… A Mother’s Despair
Riley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective

WTF?!?
You can’t make this sh*t up!
This is the Twilight Zone!
( NYS Assemblyman John T. McDonald III )

ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2020 in * Sick Community, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, ABP, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Court Judge Ackerman, Albany County Department of Children, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Medical Center, Albany Police, American Board of Pathology, Antonio Delgado, Antonio Sturges, Assemblyman John McDonald, Ben Sturges, Capital District, Capital Region Independent Media, Chief Todd Waldin, Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department, Cohoes Mayor, Cohoes Police Department, Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center, D. W. Contento, Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, Deceit, District Attorney, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Ellis Hospital, Emily Kern, FBI, Friends of Coeymans, George A. Amedore, George Amedore, George McHugh, Giovanni Ortiz, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Hearst Corporation, Hudson Valley, Incompetence, Investigation, Investigator Thomas Burns, John Keegan, Joshua Abood, Judge Andra Ackerman, Kathy Sheehan, Law Enforcement, Law Enforcement Arrogance, Lustgarten Foundation, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Malpractice, Marcus Ford, Matilda Cuomo, Matt Toporowski, Matthew Toporowski, Mayor Keeler, Mayor of Albany, Mayor William Keeler, Mayor William T. Keeler, New York State, New York State Police, New York State Police, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, P. David Soares, Peebles Island, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Professional Misconduct, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Robert Carney, Schenectady District Attorney, Senate District 46, Smalbany, Tashawna Daniels, Thomas Burns, Times Union, Tits on a Bull, Todd Waldin, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen, U-CAN, William T. Keeler

 

The Mothers’ Speak Out!


The next time you sit watching and smiling as your little boy or girl sits playing with the new toy, or you’re cheering for your strong, young son on the ball field, or you look in on your child before going to bed, and you feel those special feelings welling up inside you that only the one who created that new life can have. Now think of the toy with no one to share it, the empty space on the players bench, the empty bed, the mother’s day or father’s day card you’ll never get. Do we have your attention now?

Emily Kern, Riley’s mom, and Michele Campione, Joshua’s mom, have a message for our Readers. Here’s their letter, a plea from two mothers who have to live with the loss of their sons, every day living the pain, the doubt, the loss, and much, so much more.

Remembering when…


Dear Readers:

This is a long overdue, much needed and well deserved statement that I should’ve written long before now.

Since my son Joshua’s death on June 9, 2020, at Peebles Island State Park in Cohoes, I have learned a tough lesson: Grief does weird things to people who lose loved ones but losing your child, your son, is such a heart-wrenching pain there are no words that I have that can describe it.

In the 80s, when I was growing up in the Albany area, we were always taught to respect and sometimes, to fear law enforcement. We learned that the police had and held the power to treat people any way they chose. They could lie, they could cherry pick who gets away with things, who would get justice, who wouldn’t, who would get held accountable for wrong doings involving breaking/violating laws and who would go Scot free. It was always about who you were and who you knew. The poor, broken and less educated about their rights and the laws were always left at the bottom of the list. It’s sad, but most people didn’t, and still don’t know their rights. You would think after all these years our justice system, which was is put in place and should be available to serve and protect the people would’ve made great strides, and that the nepotism would have diminished at least to SOME EXTENT. But it’s only gotten worse.

Most people still fear even questioning law enforcement, much less call them out for their wrongdoings, lies, or even to point out mistakes. When it comes to blatant disregard, negligence, misconduct, abuse of power, lack of integrity and professionalism, Who is there for the people of Albany county? Who can you go to for help? As citizens, the same people who either voted for these officials and pay their salaries and, as human beings who have rights under the same moral and Constitutional laws that they as public servants swore upon solemn oath to uphold.. Who is there to protect us? Who do we go to when we are treated unjustly and unfairly, or with abusive indifference? Who is there to hold these county officials accountable?

As two mothers who just lost their young, promising, healthy sons, both Emily Kern (Riley Kern’s mother) and I found out the hard way.. NO ONE!

Emily and I both came forward and questioned the circumstances involving our sons’ deaths, the circumstances surrounding their deaths, the hasty and careless investigations, the incompetent and misleading rulings by the coroners, and causes of our sons deaths determined by an uncertified pathologist. The “ongoing investigations” into their deaths that provide no answers, no closure, and then get quietly closed. And there’s so much more to be told.

Both Riley Kerns mother, Emily, and I wrote pleading to Albany County officials, Senators, Assemblymen, Judges, the DA, and all local media. We were lucky to get a canned response, if any at all. Do you know how discouraging that is? Do you know how it feels to be treated as if you’re invisible, a nothing?

You start to feel despair, you feel defeated and the thoughts of stopping your fight cross your mind all the time. It would be easier just to curl up in a ball and give up.

This could happen to ANY ONE of you, your loved ones and/or even you, yourself, so don’t sit there thinking you’re not vulnerable. We thought we’d always have our sons but we learned the hard way.

This is not just a fluke, something rare that happens once every ice age, and to only 2 mothers whose sons died tragically for no good reason, for no important cause. They died suspiciously!

These are frightening issues that need to be addressed and resolved so they aren’t brushed over and ignored for tomorrow or in months or years to come. The possibility of something like this happening to you — or it has already happened to you, and you were lost as to what to do — should be frightening, astonishing and very, very real; it’s not just a possibility, it’s likely to happen

The only people that were willing and able to immediately help both Emily Kern and myself were the Editor and bloggers here on this SMALBANY site. Immediately, they sprung into action. They made it clear from the very beginning that they will not publish hearsay. They firmly stated that I had to provide FACTS AND PROOF OF THESE FACTS. The SMALBANY Editor and bloggers are well educated, diligent, and extremely thorough, and provided both Riley Kern’s mother Emily and me, Joshua Abood’s mother, with the guidance and knowledge about our rights. Sadly and thankfully they have conducted more of an investigation in both of our son’s deaths than ANY AND ALL “trusted” elected county officials, so-called public servants, and law enforcement.

They have not only been the Guardian Angels in Albany County against corruption and darkness. they have been the ONLY ones to put time and effort into all aspects surrounding our two sons’ untimely deaths and the circumstances, including all aspects of the so-called “ongoing investigations” that are going on in somebody’s inbox.

What happens when we lose our loved one’s and realize “facts” just aren’t adding up from the information provided by the officials in whom we place our trust and even our very lives, on whom we relied for their knowledge and training and expertise? We get nothing short of indifference, negligence, and sometimes even abuse. What do you do when there is no one willing to help you? (I pray this never happens to you). When you are treated like you are invisible and made to feel like your son or loved one’s death meant nothing; when he’s treated just like so much road kill?

Why wait until you, your children, your grandchildren or ANY family member has to endure the unbearable pain and suffering that penetrates your very heart and soul, numbing you, avoidable suffering that is caused by the long standing corruption in Albany County and the self-serving elected officials, public self-servants, and lazy law-enforcement

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WE AS PARENTS, MOTHERS, FATHERS, GRANDPARENTS, BROTHERS, SISTERS, FRIENDS NEED TO STAND UP FOR OURSELVES AND EACH OTHER! We need to educate ourselves and our loved ones on what we are entitled to, deserve and what our rights are as citizens of not only Albany County, but as citizens of the United States. Where is our greatness when we act like frightened chickens? We need to show support by subscribing (FOR FREE), following and sharing this site, whose only goal is to help us and bring hope to the hopeless.

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I on behalf of myself, my family, Joshua’s loved ones and friends, and my deceased son, Joshua, or at least in his memory, want to personally thank the EDITOR and bloggers here at SMALBANY for all of their hard work, time, effort and compassion. Since my son was killed or died — no one is quite sure which — I have not even briefly encountered the genuineness that SMALBANY has shown not only in my son’s case and in Riley’s, but also in so many others as well. The simple fact that their goal has always been to educate and restore hope in people like myself, who have fallen victim to our damaged and corrupt system, all for FREE with no ulterior motives, give me strength and hope.

We’re not asking for special treatment. We’re not asking for something you can’t give. We’re just asking you to show some compassion and do what’s right. We raised our sons to be good human beings, good men. Our sons deserve better than being treated like a case number.

As Joshua’s mother and someone who almost gave up several times, and was thrown a life line by people with sincerity, values, and a mission, I am eternally grateful, and I want you to know that I wouldn’t have been able to come this far without your help as readers and subscribers, as followers of this site.

SINCERELY,

Michele Campione, Joshua’s Mother
Emily Kern, Riley’s Mother

[Editor’s Note: Michele and Emily have graciously consented to allow us to publish their contact emails, should any of our readers like to contact them privately. Just click the links above.]

… The message remains unfinished, incomplete.






Some Related Smalbany Articles

Riley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective
Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office
A Response to Lorin Marra. re: Office of the Albany County Coroners
The Cover-up Continues… A Mother’s Despair

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2020 in * Sick Community, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, ABP, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Court Judge Ackerman, Albany County Department of Children, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Medical Center, Albany Police, American Board of Pathology, Antonio Delgado, Antonio Sturges, Assemblyman John McDonald, Ben Sturges, Capital District, Capital Region Independent Media, Chief Todd Waldin, Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department, Cohoes Mayor, Cohoes Police Department, Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center, D. W. Contento, Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, Deceit, District Attorney, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Ellis Hospital, Emily Kern, FBI, Friends of Coeymans, George A. Amedore, George Amedore, George McHugh, Giovanni Ortiz, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Hearst Corporation, Hudson Valley, Incompetence, Investigation, Investigator Thomas Burns, John Keegan, Joshua Abood, Judge Andra Ackerman, Law Enforcement, Law Enforcement Arrogance, Lustgarten Foundation, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Malpractice, Marcus Ford, Matilda Cuomo, Mayor Keeler, Mayor William Keeler, Mayor William T. Keeler, New York State, New York State Police, New York State Police, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, P. David Soares, Peebles Island, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Professional Misconduct, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Robert Carney, Schenectady District Attorney, Senate District 46, Smalbany, Tashawna Daniels, Thomas Burns, Times Union, Tits on a Bull, Todd Waldin, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen, U-CAN, William T. Keeler

 

The Joshua Abood Case: How to Perform an Autopsy; How to Complete a Death Certificate…NOT!

Bernard T. Ng, MD, and the Albany County Coroners, are just the tip of the corruption iceberg. The problem is a worse pandemic can CoVid-19, and probably more real, affecting far more people, both dead and alive. It boils down to a question of people not doing what they’re supposed to do, not doing their job, not doing what they’re being paid for, and getting away with it while elected officials OK it.

Even more importantly, it’s a question of people like Bernard T. Ng, MD, Albany County Coroners Antonio Sturges, John Keegan, Timothy Cavanaugh, Paul Mara, and Greene, Columbia and other county coroners, the county District Attorneys like David Soares, the County Executives and Councils, the County Legislatures, the New York State Health Department, even the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, every level where deaths are reported, investigated, and certified.

It’s not just about the two scandalous and incompetent responses to and investigations of the deaths of two young men that we have been asked by their families to investigate. Riley Kern and Joshua Abood, too, are just the tips of a huge iceberg of incompetently reported, investigated, and certified deaths numbering possibly in the thousands in Albany County alone!

Perhaps you’re not the emotional, warm-hearted type who is really interested in the dignity and respectful handling of grandma’s death, after all, she was “old” and was going to die anyway — as if your son or daughter, husband or wife, or you weren’t going to have to grin back at the Grim Reaper some day. Perhaps you aren’t the type to feel the call of social justice or accountability in the professions or in public servants. Maybe you’re just a cold-hearted bastard, who is interested only in the insurance money or the death benefits, or in the estate. If you are that cold-hearted bastard, just imagine the scenario when the insurance company, or Social Security, or probate court starts looking more closely at the death certificate and find it bogus or not valid! What then, after you took the cheapie way out, trying to hoard as much money as possible, and had the body cremated and there’s nothing left to investigate. What then, when the cause of death is questioned? Wouldn’t you have liked to have been able to trust the autopsy report or the death certificate as being properly done, the death properly and thoroughly investigated, the information being correct, your interests as a survivor safeguarded and assured? Of course you do!

Well, you may be in trouble if Bernard T. Ng’s autopsy is questioned or if the Death Certificate prepared by one of the Albany County Coroners is questioned. Ng’s autopsy reports, even if they were done according to professional standards, but they are not, apparently are not considered in the Albany County Coroners’ certifications.

Albany County must hold the world record for deaths whose primary cause is cardiopulmonary arrest, an ambiguous term that most accurately translates to “heart attack.” But it’s quick, easy, gets under the radar, closes the case, and any idiot can use it, even an idiot elected to be an Albany County Coroner or appointed to be a coroner by the Albany County Legislature.

Ellis Hospital, Schenectady, in a Storm?

It’s a sick community we live in, and you really don’t want to die here.

Problems at the Albany County Coroners Office?

We’ve done the research and we’ve reported our findings to the authorities with the responsibility to the public to investigate the situation. Here are just a few of the agencies we’ve contacted to report our findings and refer them to the relevant articles for more information:


Editor’s Note: An autopsy done at Ellis Hospital by Bernard T. Ng costs the County about $1000. If the autopsy is done by our “friends” at Albany Medical Center, it can cost twice that, or more than $2,000! Shouldn’t that taxpayer money be spent more wisely than on botched autopsies and incorrect death certifications.

In Albany County the four elected part-time coroners Timothy J. Cavanaugh, John G. Keegan, Paul L. Marra, III,  and Antonio Sturges each receive $22,443.00 annual compensation plus benefits. The total budget for the Albany County Coroners Office in 2020 was $1,029,224.00, of which $445,000 was for laboratory fees and services and $205,000 was for medical services. Money well-spent? Not according to our analysis and investigations!


There is no reasonable explanation for these lapses, the irresponsibility, the misrepresentation, the incompetence! The public health authorities from the New York State Department of Health, professional organizations like the National Association of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Pathology, national agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics, international organizations such as World Health Organization, publisher of the International Classification of Disease reference manuals, used by the CDC and other major public health agencies, numerous medicolegal, forensics, pathology journals and reference works, all available and accessible to pubic health agencies like the Coroners Office, medicolegal and forensic investigators, need to be standard reading for these incompetents, but it’s easier to ignore their responsibilities and to deceive the public, while ruining the reliability of public health and vital statistics at the state and national, even international level.

This isn’t Yemen or Afghanistan, people, this is New York State, the United States of America! We claim to be the best, to have the best. It’s a myth, a lie, judging from what we have found in Albany County, NY! Don’t we deserve better than deception, incompetence, lies? Don’t our dead deserve better than deception, incompetence, lies?

Joshua proudly showing his skydiving certificate.

Neither Reily Kern’s Cause of Death nor Joshua Abood’s Cause of Death was “cardiopulmonary arrest.” The autopsy reports are a sham and the deaths were hastily and prematurely certified, even before the autopsy reports were available. At least in these two cases, the autopsy and the death certificates deserve to be thoroughly investigated by independent authorities, and the deaths re-certified to reflect and report the correct information.

We would go even further and demand that ALL autopsies done by Bernard T. Ng, MD, or any other coroner’s pathologist who is not properly board-certified in forensic pathology, and ALL deaths certified by the Albany County Coroners be thoroughly investigated and, if necessary, recertified.

In closing this section and moving on to our semi-final report on Bernard T. Ng, and his statements on the autopsy of Joshua Abood, we’d like to inform our readers that most, if not all, of the scientific, forensic, and medical journals and references consider “drowning” to be a process, not a cause of death. “Drowning” as a cause of death is incorrect whether it appears on an autopsy report or on a death certificate. Drowning is defined as “asphyxiation due to submersion [or immersion] in a fluid,” any fluid, and involves a complex cascade of physiological events leading to death. Even if drowning were listed as a circumstance of the incident, it is not the cause of death.

Riley enjoying life with family.

The CDC has published a great deal of information on how death certificates should be completed using an accurate International Classification of Disease (ICD) code and description for the Immediate Cause of Death and for the Underlying Cause(s) of Death that can be used not only nationally by the National Center for Health Statistics but compared internationally with reports of deaths for research purposes and for developing public health programs. There are lists for causes of death only that can be used to standardize and simplify accurately reporting deaths and certifying deaths. Our question is: Why are these not being used by the coroner’s pathologist, death investigators, or the Coroners Office? Wouldn’t it be easier to enter the ICD code W65-W74 accidental drowning and submersion (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/icd/icd10.htm) case than the incorrect and idiotic causes as “cardiopulmonary arrest,” “drowning,” “fall into water,” “intoxication” (Intoxication with what? Cobra venom, heroin, sleeping pills, propane gas, alcohol (methyl, isopropyl, ethanol, etc.???). Garbage! Rubbish! Ignorance!!!

Furthermore, Bernard T. Ng, MD, claims to be a board-certified pathologist in the specialty of anatomical/clinical pathology, and that his autopsies and his autopsy reports comply with accepted standards of practice for autopsies and autopsy reports. We disagree! And we disagree based on the very standards that Ng claims he observes in his practice. Mind you, we are not even considering the rigid standards of the forensic autopsy, which Ng is not certified to perform.

We have thoroughly reviewed at least two digital conversations made by Bernie Ng or the Albany County Coroner John Keegan, and have reported on them in previous segments of this series. Here are some excerpts that really caused us to gag:

The first is Ng’s statement on how he takes notes during an autopsy. He lists the presence of an autopsy assistant/technician, James Schaeffer, on both of the autopsy reports, so there’s really no excuse for Ng’s statement on how he takes notes for preparation of an autopsy report. Here’s how Ng responds to a question by a next-of-kin:

NOK:        Where are the measurements of depth, the length, etc. I don’t see in the autopsy report. Are there any other notes?

BNg:        No. Those are…[be]cause I tend to just jot down, the only way, and… on a dirty piece of, a bloody piece of paper, it does get bloody, and then I translate, jot it down for the report.

Nice, accurate, professional, reliable. He just jots it down on a bloody piece of paper and then translates it for the autopsy report. The ABP and professional pathologists should have some fun with that one! Rather than jotting notes down on a bloody piece of paper, Why doesn’t Mr. Schaeffer take the notes as dictated by Ng? Why doesn’t Ng have a voice recorder for dictating his notes as he progresses in the autopsy? Is Ellis Hospital/Ellis Medicine too cheap to equip the autopsy room with a sound recording system? This is totally unacceptable by any fourth world standard! How can that be acceptable in New York State, in the United States, in a hospital serving the public, Ellis Hospital? It’s not acceptable; it’s criminal.

Normally, anyone can reasonably expect that if there are wounds on a body that goes to autopsy because of suspicious circumstances, that at least some of the wounds would be accurately described, some of them measured, even probed for foreign material to identify where the wounds occurred, and this information would appear on the autopsy report. No, wrong again. Not when Bernard T. Ng does the autopsy. There are no measurements or descriptions, only silly excuses. Failure to interpret any unnatural marks or wounds on the body is a grossly negligent and unprofessional circumstance that should subject Ng to investigation and censure not only by the American Board of Pathology, but by the New York State licensing authority, the Department of Education, and Ellis Hospital should be held accountable for putting him in the position he holds at the Hospital. We feel such errors and omissions are tantamount to malpractice, at least, and should be prosecuted.

Who’s to blame? Bernard Ng or the Albany County Coroners?

KOK:        Why they were not individually described?

BNg:        Why were they not individually described? Because it was patch. It was an abrasion over a patch; it was not a particular, identifiable mark. OK? So When we start doing individual measurement and description of injury it is usually very distinct, discrete injury that points to a particular type of instrument. For example, a cut, a laceration. Those will be [inaudible] and measured. A bullet wound…would [interruption]…Again, it’s a matter of experience that we can recognize…the mark doesn’t match the hypothesis.

We discussed the Albany County Coroners incompetence and ignorance above but in all fairness, we have to say that three of the four coroners are funeral directors with no medical training, and one, Antonio Sturges runs a diabetic supplies business, and also has some funeral home experience. But when it comes to a physician licensed to practice medicine in New York State, a physician employed by a major area Hospital, a physician who runs a business providing medical pathology services, and a man who claim to be “double-boarded,” that is, board-certified in anatomic/clinical pathology by the American Board of Pathology, does not properly record the immediate cause and underlying causes of death according to the standards for autopsy reports, and further, stumbles trying to explain a death certificate, we have to really wonder how deeply the incompetence and corruption goes in the Capital Region of New York State. We know, and will report on the connections we found in the Riley Kern and Joshua Abood cases, but first, Bernard Ng’s take on death certification:

NOK:        [Referring to the Death Certificate] Let’s move down to, let’s start to answer some of the questions on here…If you go down to…let’s see…ummm

The Death Section, parts A, B, and C, which gives the Cause of Death as “cardiopulmonary arrest,” as a consequence of drowning, as a consequence of fall into water as a consequence of intoxication. Can you explain that?

BNg:        That is the death certificate, the mechanism of death, is a sequence of events. OK. So we are asked to put down what are the sequences…

NOK:        You are asked by who[m]? You’re asked by who[m] to put it down?

BNg:        That is how the form is constructed. That is how the death certificate is. OK? As opposed to the autopsy report; the autopsy report does not always mirror that, because sometimes the autopsy report gives a little bit more of a…uhh…room to describe what happened. So, under the death certification because it is in a form, we are limited by how much we can put in there. So, it’s really kind of truncated but if you compare it to…the autopsy report, it gives a little bit more detail. OK. It gives a detail as to explain.

NOK:        Our autopsy report didn’t give much detail at all, so I’d have to disagree with you there.

We can confirm that the autopsy reports in both the Riley Kern and the Joshua Abood cases are inconsistent, deficient, ambiguous, and certainly do not “mirror” the death certificates. In fact, if we didn’t know they were the same cases, we’d think that the death certificates and the autopsy reports were for totally different cases. That’s a BIG problem.

Ng continues to ramble on and on, babbling, and grasping at straws to save his butt. He’s already “dead in the water,” if you’ll pardon the pun.

BNg:        No. The autopsy report, you know…uhhh…uhh…can address certain things…ummm…you know, sometimes it matches right up. You know. For example, a gunshot wound to the head is a gunshot wound to the head. So…a gunshot wound to the head, massive head trauma. So in this case, the finding is that he was incapacitated, the toxicology showed that he is at an intoxication level beyond legal, well beyond, several times beyond legal limits…[interruption]…but alcohol, even to an alcoholic that has a tremendous amount of tolerance, that will still have an absolute neurologic effect on the body…[Ng states several effects of alcohol]…all of these, and it’s well documented, will increase an individual’s likelihood of drowning if they get into the water.

Ng continues but gets off track, and no longer addresses the question of the death certificate. But we also have to note that Ng is making a lot of statements for which he has not a shred of evidence. This unwarranted and unprofessional speculation occurs at a number of places in this one conversation, which further supports our doubts about Ng’s competence. Ng has no evidence to show that the victim was “incapacitated,” even if his blood alcohol was above legal limits. What do the legal limits have to do with a suspected drowning? He wasn’t operating a motorized boat! He wasn’t driving down Peeble’s Island expressway! Besides, the blood alcohol concentration was determined using a sample taken from the heart, which is reported in the forensic literature to be a site that provides unreliable results for BAC (blood alcohol concentration); the recommended site is the femoral vein! Doesn’t Ng know this? Besides, the victim was not an alcohol-virgin, so he had a tolerance for alcohol; alcohol would probably not have had the same effect on him as on someone who only occasionally drinks. He might even have been a “sloppy drunk” but certainly not as sloppy drunk as our Editor [Oops! Did we write that?] would be or someone who doesn’t drink at all! But Ng doesn’t know this and can only guess; his statement can be made only after “translating” his “sloppy” notes made on a “bloody piece of paper,” and only after the toxicology results are reported by an outside lab in Pennsylvania using the non-standard specimen sent for testing. We also don’t know some critical information about the specimen such as, how it was collected, in what, under what conditions, and how it was prepared and shipped. Very sloppy. Very sloppy pathology work, indeed.[1]

NOK:        Was he alive when he entered the water? Or was he dead when he hit the water?

BNg:        He was alive…He is definitely alive…and the reason I know that he was definitely alive was that there’s a large amount of congestion and edema in his lung. That means that during that time he was…he might have aspirated a small amount of water but not to the extent of inhaling a lot of water. That points…that indicates that he had a laryngospasm, which is very common…I’ve done many…many examinations of many drownings, and most people actually have not that much water in their lung. There is fluid in the lung — the investigator is correct — at the time of autopsy there was fluid in the lung but that fluid appears to be…[interruption…]

NOK:        Edema. I know. I read the Autopsy Report. I saw that.

BNg:        So that is not an inconsistency between what the investigator told you and what the autopsy report show.

We have to take issue with Ng’s description and his statement that the investigator’s statement was not inconsistent with the autopsy report. Was it water or edema, Bernie? The investigator, Burns, repeatedly said there was water in the lungs. He also said the the body floated because the lungs were full of air! Do we want to rely on NYSP Investigator Burns statements. We think NOT! NYSP Investigator Burns also suggested that Joshua had a heart problem, probably based on what coroner Antonio Sturges called “cardiopulmonary arrest” in the Death Certificate. Dumbasses! One or the other, or both? You don’t say in the autopsy report, and yet you seem to agree with the non-medical opinion of the law-enforcement investigator.

Furthermore, if Ng doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and we get that impression from his discussion of both Riley Kern’s case and Joshua Abood’s case, it really makes no difference to the objective investigator (US!) whether Ng has done “many examinations of many drownings,” at all, because if he did those examinations like he did Joshua Abood’s, they were all incompetent: he would have applied the same misguided, incompetent practices in all those cases, too!

From a careful review and examination of the available documents, various statements made by an Albany County Coroner and coroner’s pathologist (not a forensic pathologist) Bernard T. Ng, MD, and a thorough review of the scientific literature and government guidelines, the only reasonable conclusions that can be drawn are:

  • The Albany County Coroners have no clue how to certify a death, and
  • Coroner’s pathologist Bernard T. Ng (Ellis Hospital, Schenectady, and Schenectady Pathology Associates, P.C.), who is not a forensic pathologist, does has no clue how to do a forensic autopsy or forensic investigation.

We further conclude that the Albany County Coroners are civilly if not criminally incompetent, and have caused severe, irreparable damage to the public health system through incompetent certifications of deaths in their jurisdiction.

Furthermore, we charge Bernard T. Ng, MD, with overreaching his professional qualifications, misrepresenting his professional qualifications, violating the terms of his certification in anatomic/clinical pathology by the American Board of Pathology, and is consequently liable to civil, criminal, and professional disciplinary actions by the New York State Department of Education, Professional Misconduct Enforcement, the American Board of Pathology, and to civil suit or criminal prosecution. Bernard T. Ng’s unlawful practice of forensic pathology without board-certification or the required specialist training has compromised the death reporting and certification system

Our next segments will examine the relationships between and among the various elected officials, the public servants, the public services involved, and how that corruption and incompetence is fed and cultivated in the Albany Democratic Machine, where corruption and cronyism, and political patronage rules supreme. We’ll be revisiting Albany County Court Judge Andra Ackerman (D), New York State Assemblyman John T. McDonald III (D), New York State Police Investigator Thomas Burns, the City of Cohoes (D), Cohoes Police Department — in all fairness, Chief Todd Wardin has been trying very hard to help —, County Coroners Antonio Sturges (D) and John Keegan (D), Bernard T. Ng, MD, Ellis Hospital/Ellis Medicine, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy (D), and the operations of the Albany County Legislature under the chairmanship of Andrew Joyce (D) and co-chair Wanda Willingham (D), and we’ll look at a number of minor-league players involved. Stay tuned!

[1] The victims BAC was in fact 206 mg/dL which means it was about 2x the “legal limit,” which doesn’t say very much in terms of forensic death investigation because a legal limit is the limit used by law enforcement as a reference for writing tickets, not by scientific medicolegal death investigators as a reference for determining cause of death or the circumstances leading to the cause of death (the “manner of death”).

The **it’s hit the fan, dudes!

Our next Segment will discuss the Albany County Democratic Machine and how it creates, feeds, and continues the corruption in Albany County, NY, and affects the surrounding regions.


Notes:

Payne-James, Jason, and Roger W. Byard. Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine. Elsevier, (2016). Print.

Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting. Hyattsville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, 2003. Print.


Some Related Smalbany Articles

Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office
A Response to Lorin Marra. re: Office of the Albany County Coroners
The Cover-up Continues… A Mother’s Despair
Riley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective

WTF?!?
You can’t make this sh*t up!
This is the Twilight Zone!
( NYS Assemblyman John T. McDonald III )

ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2020 in * Sick Community, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, ABP, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Court Judge Ackerman, Albany County Department of Children, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Medical Center, Albany Police, American Board of Pathology, Antonio Delgado, Antonio Sturges, Assemblyman John McDonald, Ben Sturges, Capital District, Capital Region Independent Media, Chief Todd Waldin, Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department, Cohoes Mayor, Cohoes Police Department, Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center, D. W. Contento, Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, Deceit, District Attorney, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Ellis Hospital, Emily Kern, FBI, Friends of Coeymans, George A. Amedore, George Amedore, George McHugh, Giovanni Ortiz, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Hearst Corporation, Hudson Valley, Incompetence, Investigation, Investigator Thomas Burns, John Keegan, Joshua Abood, Judge Andra Ackerman, Law Enforcement, Law Enforcement Arrogance, Lustgarten Foundation, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Malpractice, Marcus Ford, Matilda Cuomo, Mayor Keeler, Mayor William Keeler, Mayor William T. Keeler, New York State, New York State Police, New York State Police, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, P. David Soares, Peebles Island, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Professional Misconduct, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Robert Carney, Schenectady District Attorney, Senate District 46, Smalbany, Tashawna Daniels, Thomas Burns, Times Union, Tits on a Bull, Todd Waldin, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen, U-CAN, William T. Keeler

 

The Joshua Abood Case: The Right Questions, the Wrong Answers: Bernard T. Ng MD

We had planned to publish our segment on how political corruption and the Albany Democratic Machine and control by the Democratic party in Albany, NY, has bred and fed a system of corruption, cronyism, nepotism, and political patronage, and how that is adversely affecting everything from elections to public health and criminal investigation and prosecution. That scheduled publication has been put on a side-burner because we have obtained some very derogatory information on Bernard T. Ng, MD, which may lead to serious consequences for the fake forensic pathologist.

We think that the New York State Police Investigators, the Albany County Coroners, and Bernard T. Ng need to spend more time watching Sherlock Holmes films; they’d probably be able to do a better job of investigation rather than dancing in the dark with factoids.

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, stated by Sherlock Holmes

What does that mean? This is all about logic, and using facts to establish truth. If you start with brainstorming every possible scenario you can think of, and then eliminate those that are clearly impossible, you are well on your way to a solution or at least a reasonable conclusion. That that isn’t the way it happens in Albany County when you put law-enforcement, the Albany County Coroners, and a wannabe forensic pathologist, Bernard T. Ng, MD, on the same case. Where the three of them should be free to do their jobs — or at least honest or qualified for the job —, they are also expected to be on the same page, or at least in the same book! They are not.

That’s the first step in solving any mystery, whether it’s a murder mystery in a book (or TV, or movie, or…CSI) or something you expected to work — like a death investigation, but didn’t. You have to eliminate all the things that it couldn’t possibly be, or you will have too many distractions, and then, once we’ve cleared out all the flotsam and jetsam, we can focus on what remains, which is usually something believable, even if it has to be cleaned up a bit. Sometimes what is left is easy to believe, other times it can seem unlikely but still possible. However, with the impossible eliminated, what remains are the only possible solutions. And one of them must be the truth.

Why is clearing out the impossible solutions important? Once we clear the clutter by removing all that is impossible, the questions become clearer, and we are left with a more plausible situation.  What is left can be gone over more quickly, and evaluated for probability or even likelihood.

But when you’re talking to an Albany County Coroner, State Police Investigator Thomas Burns or other law enforcement, or pathologist Bernard T. Ng, logic and plausibility don’t seem to be in their script, nor does collaboration. In fact, one of the most frequently heard questions asked by them is: Who told you that? Actually, who cares who told me that? Is it TRUE? Did you check that?

That’s where education, training, experience, and an open mind come into play. A hefty dose of good communications skills and a willingness to engage in team work is a big plus. But, again, our trio of clowns seem to have cut that class.

It’s a clown act!
Police Investigators, Coroners, Pathologist Bernie Ng, and Albany County DA Soares (top right corner, hiding, as usual).

The investigations into the deaths of Riley Kern and Joshua Abood clearly show that Albany County, law-enforcement — New York State Police, Cohoes Police —, the Albany County Coroners, coroner’s pathologist Bernie Ng, and the medical and forensic institutions (Albany Medical Center, Ellis Hospital) have failed the public continuously, consistently, and repeatedly.

But let’s first look at what the American Board of Pathology says about board certification, and the certification that Bernard T. Ng, MD, cannot claim he has, but he thinks he has. We have evidence in Ng’s own words, of Ng stating, and we quote:

” I am a board-certified pathologist in anatomic and clinical pathology. Within that, in that double-boarded status that I hold, anatomic pathology includes the practice of forensic autopsy and forensic investigation.”

Really, Bernie? You really think so? That statement alone should get him censured by the American Board of Pathology, if not prosecuted by the DAs in several New York counties, where Bernard T. Ng MD has been providing forensic pathology services but is not certified to do so.

With that in mind, let’s now have a look at what the American Board of Pathology has to say about certifications and how they are to be used, that is, used ethically:

CERTIFICATION BY THE ABPath The ABPath issues primary certificates in Anatomic Pathology and/or Clinical Pathology and Anatomic Pathology/Neuropathology.

We do not dispute the fact that Bernard T. Ng, MD, is, as he claims, board certified in anatomic/clinical pathology, and, if his résumé is correct, it appears he was granted the combined certification, rather than the individual anatomic and clinical pathology credentials separately.

The ABP then describes the requirements for subspecialty certification, of interest to us here is the subspecialty of forensic pathology. Here’s what the ABP has to say:

Subspecialty certificates are issued in:

Forensic Pathology

Subspecialty Certification. Pathology is a broad discipline; therefore, it is appropriate that some certified pathologists seek greater knowledge and expertise in one or more of the subspecialties of pathology. The achievement of subspecialty certification does not reflect on the ability of other pathologists to practice in that specialty area.

Forensic Pathology a. Candidates must be certified in AP/CP or AP and must complete 12 months of training in an ACGME accredited forensic pathology program.

The last sentence in the first paragraph may need some clarification by the ABP, but we’ll make a stab at it. What it means is that “other pathologists”, that is, pathologists who are not certified  MAY practice in the”specialty” (note, the language does not say “subspecialty“); accordingly, the statement does not apply to the subspecialty of forensic pathology. It could also mean that “other pathologists” may practice forensic pathology without board-certification but their abilities are not credentialed or certified, so what good are they doing? Answer: Not much!

The ABP also makes a clear and unambiguous statement on what physicians certified by the ABP must use the certification:

Certification Status. Physicians with ABPath certificates are designated as Diplomates of the ABPath, and are entitled to so designate themselves in an ethical manner. All Diplomates are governed by policies for use of certification, and for expiration and revocation of certificates as the ABPath may, from time to time, adopt. Diplomates of the ABPath are required to accurately state their certification status in curriculum vitae, publications, directories, letterhead, etc. A diplomate with a time-limited certificate whose certificate has expired must not claim to be board certified, and all descriptions of certification status must be modified accordingly. If an individual represents that they are certified by the ABPath when such is not the case, the ABPath will notify appropriate authorities, including but not limited to hospital, healthcare, and credentialing organizations, licensing boards, and law enforcement agencies.[emphasis provided; ABPath = American Board of Pathology]

Looks like Bernie missed that section. As stated above, we have clear and convincing evidence that Bernard T. Ng, MD, represents himself as a qualified forensic pathologist, and that qualification is included in his ABP certification as an anatomic/clinical pathologist. It is not. We categorically and absolutely call his statements a clear misrepresentation of the scope of his certification credentials and an outright deception! Here is his statement, when asked by a concerned next-of-kin [NOK; name withheld at the request of the provider of the digital recording; in order to protect the provider, we invoke NY Shield Law privilege.]:

NOK:  Are you a forensic pathologist?

Bernard Ng:   No. Nor do I ever claim to be a forensic pathologist. But I do want to state that as a pathologist, I am a board-certified pathologist in anatomic and clinical pathology. Within that, in that double-boarded status that I hold, anatomic pathology includes the practice of forensic autopsy and forensic investigation. A person known as a forensic pathologist is a pathologist that only do [sic] forensic cases. I do…I am double-boarded. I also do clinical pathology; I also do surgical pathology, meaning that I also do examinations of patients, live patient, biopsies. They are in my scope of practice. So a forensic pathologist is clearly somebody that only do[es] that exclusively. I am a clinical and an anatomic pathologist. At no point… [interrupted]

We disagree strongly that Ng’s so-called “double-boarded status” includes the practice of forensic autopsy and forensic investigation. This opinion is supported by the fact that the ABP offers a subspecialty certification in forensic pathology that requires prior certification in anatomic/clinical or anatomic pathology. The very reasonable conclusion we can draw from that fact is that Ng’s statement is a misrepresentation and a deceit. Furthermore, there are many physicians with board certifications in forensic pathology who practice other specialties and clinical pathology and clinical medicine. Being a board-certified forensic pathologist does not mean that they don’t practice clinical medicine as well!

NOK:  But isn’t a forensic pathologist needed when a body is found alone…with no witnesses? Suspiciously?

Bernard Ng:   No. That is not forensic. The practice of forensic autopsy is within my scope of practice, and within the scope of my training and board certification. Do you understand what I am saying? So, for example, a kidney specialist, a nephrologist, has undergone, in order for them to focus just on the kidney, they are trained, in residency training, as an internal medicine doctor first, and then if they choose to focus only on kidney disease, they can then do a fellowship, and they become nephrologists. They are first trained as internal medicine doctors, with the additional focus on nephrology, which means the study and treatment of kidney disease, and that’s all they do is kidney disease. Even though they can still take care of somebody with an ear infection or with pneumonia, they choose to focus only on kidney disease. So they are called nephrologists.

We disagree strongly! It IS forensic. And we further disagree strongly that “[t]he practice of forensic autopsy is within [Ng’s] scope of training and board certification,” and we further suggest that the ABP would agree with us completely. As for Ng’s nephrologist example, see below.

At this point the discussion turns to details that we will discuss later but let’s just focus on Ng’s statements in the above excerpt.

First, let’s just recap: A forensic pathologist is an expert who determines the cause of death of someone who may have died under suspicious circumstances. A forensic pathologist, because he has specialist training in forensics and pathology, is qualified, for example, to determine entrance and exit wounds of bullets; the angles of those bullets or knife wounds; whether someone was poisoned or overdosed; if someone was murdered before being burned or drowned, etc. He is specially trained to interpret details from the scene in conjunction with other information sources to determine the cause and the  manner of death, that is, whether someone died by homicide, suicide or accident; etc. They do a fellowship in the field of forensic pathology, and are certified as forensic pathologists, and can be called upon by prosecutors to discuss their findings and answer questions from those who doubt their findings, such as a defense attorney. All pathologists are trained to do autopsies, but those without forensic training are qualified only to do autopsies to determine a cause of death that is generally medical and does not suggest suspicious circumstances or foul play. To be a forensic pathologist, according to the American Board of Pathology, a pathologist already board certified in anatomical pathology must do an additional year of fellowship training in an approved program and then take the certification examination. Bernard T. Ng, MD, did not do this.

That is the first point. Clear enough and there’s no debating that fact. He is not recognized by a qualified certification organization as a forensic pathologist. If he is not a forensic pathologist, he has no business doing medicolegal autopsies, forensic autopsies, which are exactly the kind of autopsy performed to determine important facts in a coroner’s case.

The second point is that Bernard T. Ng is so arrogant as to attempt to persuade the person that he is qualified to do forensic autopsies and forensics because they are in the scope of his certification as an anatomic/clinical pathologist. This is an outright lie! If it is not a lie, then Ng is very seriously mistaken about his own training and certification. Worse still, Ng appears not to know his limitations, which is a serious matter when we are discussing medical issues and a so-called physician.

According to the American Board of Pathology, forensic pathology is a sub-specialty, that is a specialty requiring additional training and education in an accredited year of additional study plus examination by the ABP. A forensic pathologist is an anatomical pathologist with at least 1 year of additional training in the subspecialty of forensic pathology. Bernard T. Ng does not have that training, much less the necessary certification.

Bernard T. Ng attempts to throw his “double-boarded status” out there as a red herring but it doesn’t work. Forensic pathology is not, as Ng states, within the scope of his practice as an anatomical/clinical pathologist; nor does a forensic pathologist only do exclusively forensic pathology, he is qualified also to do anatomic/clinical, and surgical pathology even more than a pathologist with “double-boarded status.” Furthermore, Ng’s unfortunate example of the “nephrologist” illustrates and confirms exactly what we are saying and contradicts Ng’s own statements. Using the example of the nephrologist was a very poor choice, indeed, because Ng is confused about exactly what he does and what he is qualified to do.

Let’s just have a closer look at Ng’s unfortunate nephrologist example:

Bernard Ng:   …” So, for example, a kidney specialist, a nephrologist, has undergone, in order for them to focus just on the kidney, they are trained, in residency training, as an internal medicine doctor first, and then if they choose to focus only on kidney disease, they can then do a fellowship, and they become nephrologists.” All you have to do is replace nephrologist with “forensic pathologist,” and you will have almost exactly what the ABP says about pathologists. To be clearer, replace “kidney” with “disease/injury.”

Bernard Ng: “They are first trained as internal medicine doctors, with the additional focus on nephrology, which means the study and treatment of kidney disease, and that’s all they do is kidney disease.” While it’s incorrect to say that all a nephrologist does is kidney disease, it’s the training that we’re looking at. Again, just preplace “nephrologist” with “pathologist.”

Bernard Ng: “Even though they can still take care of somebody with an ear infection or with pneumonia, they choose to focus only on kidney disease. So they are called nephrologists.” Make the same substitutions in this statement, too.

Take it a step further and think of Ng’s nephrologist, and let’s look at a real ABP subspecialty, neuropathology. Like forensic pathology, neuropathology is recognized as a sub-specialty of anatomic pathology and requires additional training for certification. According to the American Board of Pathology, to receive certification and to call himself a neuropathologist he must:

be certified in anatomic/clinical pathology or anatomic pathology and must complete 24 months of training in an ACGME accredited neuropathology program.

Like neuropathologists, the forensic pathologist must obtain additional qualifications and be examined by the certifying authority before he can be considered certified in the subspecialty.

To practice the subspecialty of forensic pathology, even if he does not “claim to be a forensic pathologist,” as Ng states, by practicing the subspecialty and explicitly claiming that forensic practice within the scope of practice of his board certification in anatomic/clinical pathology, Ng is unethically perpetrating a fraud, misrepresentation, deception, and a malpractice.

We believe he is subject to severe discipline under civil and criminal laws, and to censure by the New York State Department of Education as the licensing authority, and to censure by the American Board of Pathology for misrepresenting his qualifications and scope of practice as including forensic pathology in his “double-boarded status” as an anatomic/clinical pathologist by the American Board of Pathology.

We will elaborate those charges to the competent authorities, and will continue to expose the public services that are complicit in Ng’s misconduct, including Ellis Hospital of Schenectady, Albany Medical College and Albany Medical Center, the Albany County Coroners Office and Albany County, and the offices of the medical examiner or coroner in the counties using Ellis Hospital mortuary services or Bernard T. Ng’s  services as coroner’s physician.

This situation requires a thorough investigation of all parties involved, and prosecution to the fullest extent of civil, professional, and criminal statutes and laws.

Anyone who has had a loved one, a relative, a friend who has been subjected to this systemic misconduct by the Albany County Coroners Office or any office of the medical examiner or coroner in their county must join with us in this effort to expose and to correct this outrageous abuse of the public’s trust and to prevent continuation of this scandalous misconduct!

It’s time to hold the County Executive, Daniel McCoy (Dem), the Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares (Dem), the Albany County Legislature, the Albany County Office of the Coroner, Bernard T. Ng, Ellis Hospital, and Albany Medical Center ACCOUNTABLE and ANSWERABLE to the public. It’s time the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, the Albany City Police, Cohoes Police, the New York State Parks Police, the Coeymans Police Department, and all of the 15 counties using Bernadt T. Ng as their medicolegal death investigation pathologist, are ACCOUNTABLE and ANSWERABLE for cheating the public and the families of the deceased!

As for Bernard T. Ng, Ellis Hospital, Albany Medical Center, it is our intention to file formal complaints together with the families of Riley Kern and Joshua Abood, with the the New York State Department of Health, The American Board of Pathology, the New York State Department of Education, Division of Professional Misconduct Enforcement, and the National Association of Medical Examiners, demanding investigation and disciplinary action. The same formal complaint and demands will be filed with the New York State Department of Health against the funeral directors acting in their capacity as Albany County Coroners. Furthermore, we will demand that the Office of the State Attorney General investigate the Office of the Albany County Executive, the Office of the Albany County District Attorney, New York State Police Criminal Investigators, Troop G, Latham, NY, and other agencies for their abuse of public office in obstructing justice. We will further join with families of deceased who come under the jurisdiction of the Albany County Coroners to demand a thorough investigation of all deaths certified by the Albany County Coroners and the certification of Immediate Cause of Death, autopsies done by Bernard T. Ng MD upon request of the Albany county Coroners, and a thorough review of the investigation and certification procedures of the Albany County Coroners Office.

The **it’s hit the fan, dudes!

Our next Segment will discuss the Autopsies, the Autopsy Reports, and the Albany County Coroners’ Death Certifications.


Notes:

[1] See: Payne-James, Jason, and Roger W. Byard. Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine. Elsevier, (2016). Print.

[2] Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting. Hyattsville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, 2003. Print.


We are back to the Joshua Abood case, and will provide more specifics and detail on the investigation and the weirdos investigating and making decisions in the case. Stay tuned for the upcoming segment that will deal with New York State Police Investigator Thomas Burns, Albany County Coroner Antonio Sturges and the Albany County Legislature and the Albany County Coroners Office, Ellis Hospital (Schenectady) pathologist Bernard Ng, and New York State Assemblyman John T. McDonald III.

Some Related Smalbany Articles

Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office
A Response to Lorin Marra. re: Office of the Albany County Coroners
The Cover-up Continues… A Mother’s Despair
Riley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective

WTF?!?
You can’t make this sh*t up!
This is the Twilight Zone!
( NYS Assemblyman John T. McDonald III )

ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 30, 2020 in * Sick Community, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, ABP, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Court Judge Ackerman, Albany County Department of Children, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Medical Center, Albany Police, American Board of Pathology, Antonio Delgado, Antonio Sturges, Assemblyman John McDonald, Ben Sturges, Capital District, Capital Region Independent Media, Chief Todd Waldin, Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department, Cohoes Mayor, Cohoes Police Department, Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center, D. W. Contento, Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, Deceit, District Attorney, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Ellis Hospital, Emily Kern, FBI, Friends of Coeymans, George A. Amedore, George Amedore, George McHugh, Giovanni Ortiz, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Hearst Corporation, Hudson Valley, Incompetence, Investigation, Investigator Thomas Burns, John Keegan, Joshua Abood, Judge Andra Ackerman, Law Enforcement, Law Enforcement Arrogance, Lustgarten Foundation, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Malpractice, Marcus Ford, Matilda Cuomo, Mayor Keeler, Mayor William Keeler, Mayor William T. Keeler, New York State, New York State Police, New York State Police, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, P. David Soares, Peebles Island, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Professional Misconduct, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Robert Carney, Schenectady District Attorney, Senate District 46, Smalbany, Tashawna Daniels, Thomas Burns, Times Union, Tits on a Bull, Todd Waldin, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen, U-CAN, William T. Keeler

 

The Joshua Abood Case: Condemned by Their Own Statements: Coroners Office & Ng

Way back in the late 1800s, when cremation was a hot issue in Europe, the UK, and in the USA, one of the major objections to cremation was the fact that once the body is incinerated, it is no longer available for further investigation. The major concern of the opponents was that crimes could be concealed if the body were no longer available for further medicolegal investigation. Those concerns are as valid today as they were then.

In the Joshua Abood and in the Riley Kern cases, the bodies were cremated; they are no longer available for continued medicolegal death investigation. This fact may be a speed bump but it does not deter from the egregious misconduct and deficiencies involved in their respective investigations.

A forensic autopsy is a series of tests and examinations performed on the body to determine the presence of an injury or to identify any disease that may have caused or contributed to the death. This internal and external examination is done by a forensic pathologist who has been specially trained to recognize patterns of injury, collect evidence and investigate the circumstances surrounding the death. The results of the death scene investigation, combined with the results of the autopsy, are used to determine the cause and manner of death. Specific autopsy protocols will be discussed in a later segment in this investigative series.[1]

During a forensic autopsy, it is necessary to thoroughly examine the body as well as the internal organs. The incisions needed to weigh and measure the organs are made in a manner that allows the funeral director to conceal them for the viewing service and funeral. Additionally, special tests are performed to check for the presence infectious diseases, alcohol, and/or drugs. A typical forensic autopsy takes approximately 2-4 hours but may require additional time to complete these special tests. If these tests are needed, the death certificate will be issued with “PENDING” as the cause of death while the medicolegal death investigator obtains the test results. This allows the family to make arrangements for moving the body to the funeral home and to schedule the funeral/burial.

Yes, both Riley and Joshua were cremated. That, however, does not detract in any way whatsoever from the facts we are presenting. Yes, the investigation is a sham at this point. No, the autopsy was not conducted by a qualified pathologist. No, the Death Certificates were not properly or correctly completed by the Albany County Coroners. Yes, the families, friends, and the public at large are being cheated, misinformed by their elected officials, and deceived. These facts are clear evidence of fraud, misconduct, and incompetence. These facts are the basis for civil lawsuits, if not criminal prosecutions. There may no longer be any bodies to exhume and re-examine but the damning facts are undeniable.

Much of this accepted procedure is ignored in Albany County, by the Albany County Coroners, and by Ellis Hospital pathologist, Bernard T. Ng. We examine two recent cases to illustrate how Albany County and Ng are failing the public.


What becomes exquisitely clear is that there is little or no accountability in Albany County between the Albany County Coroners Office, Bernard Ng, Ellis Hospital, Albany Medical Center, NewYork State Police, Cohoes Police Department, Coeymans Police Department, Albany County Sheriff’s Department, Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares, or anyone else. It appears that they’re all in bed together. They have each other’s back. A recent article reports that 15 counties relied on Albany Medical Center for their medicolegal autopsies. Now that Albany Medical Center has backed off and Albany County, at least, is sending their cases to Ellis Hospital in Schenectady and to Bernard T. Ng, are we to assume that at least 15 counties are getting substandard medicolegal death investigations? It certainly looks that way.

Reviewing our archival material on the Riley Kern case and more recently the Joshua Abood case, in which the Albany County Coroners Office and pathologist Bernard T. Ng were involved, and comparing the information on the Death Certificates for the two young men, we find that both Death Certificates, one relating to alleged internal bleeding due to a motorcycle-pick-up truck collision, and the other due to alleged drowning, both list the “Immediate Cause of Death” to be “Cardiopulomonary Arrest,” or heart attack, an event where the heart stops. While they could argue that any death is caused by the fact that the heart stops, that is not a cause of death unless it’s a codable event of “sudden cardiac death” (SCD). The heart stops in all deaths, however, so “cardiopulmonary arrest,” is hardly an accurate determination of cause of death in either of these two different cases. But that’s how Albany County Coroners John Keegan (Riley’s case) and Antonio Sturges (Joshua’s case) called the shots. Ellis Hospital pathologist Bernart T. Ng, misrepresenting himself as a forensic pathologist makes the situation even worse.

As defined by the National Association of Medical Examiners, the cause of death is, “the underlying disease or injury responsible for setting in motion a series of physiologic events culminating in death.” The Albany County Coroners and Bernard T. Ng apparently have not learned that leading definition.

Another concern is that when death certificates are used for compiling health statistics such as in the data collected by the CDC, listing “cardiopulmonary arrest” and the immediate cause of death is totally irresponsible on the part of the coroners office and the so-called pathologist providing the information supporting that determination. The national death and health statistics lose their reliability and value when deaths and causes of death are incorrectly reported.

In Riley Kern’s death, Yes! his heart did stop breathing. In Joshua Abood’s death, his heart did stop beating. But neither was a heart attack! Riley succumbed to the effects of collision trauma, which caused internal bleeding; mishandling of his case by first responders and by Albany Medical Center ER staff, may have complicated his condition, and even aggravated it, possibly contributing to the young man’s death, but the cause of death is anything but “cardiopulmonary arrest.”

In Joshua Abood’s case, he was found face down in the Mohawk River, apparently a drowning incident but suspicious because it was associated with what is being called an “altercation” with two individuals with street drug connections. Joshua’s death has the elements of suspicious cause of death or even homicide, but investigators have tried to sweep the case under the carpet. Determining, however incompetently, the death to be caused by “cardiopulmonary arrest,” as Albany county Coroner Antonio Sturges has done, and given the substandard Autopsy Report signed by Bernard T. Ng, who violates every item in the Performance Standards for Forensic Autopsy of the National Association of Medical Examiners (a.k.a. NAME) is an embarrassment if not an outrage!

In both Riley Kern’s case and Joshua Abood’s case, the Albany County Coroners Office and Bernard T. Ng of Ellis Hospital are involved. In both Riley’s case and Joshua’s case, the coroners office calls the Immediate Cause of Death, “cardiopulmonary arrest,” or heart attack. Both causes of death are incorrect, even if we assume they were not suspicious or the result of an assault, and accidental (that is, the “Manner of Death”).

According to the CDC guidelines for medical examiners and coroners:[2]

“The immediate cause [of death] does not mean the mechanism of death or terminal event (for example, cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest). The mechanism of death (for example, cardiac or respiratory arrest) should not be reported as the immediate cause of death as it is a statement not specifically related to the disease process, and it merely attests to the fact of death. The mechanism of death therefore provides no additional information on the cause of death.”

The Albany County Coroners do not know how to correctly fill out a death certificate!

We have obtained two recordings of a next-of-kin’s conversations with John Keegan (Magin & Keegan Funeral Home), an Albany County Coroner for at least 12 years at the time of Riley’s death and about 14 years at the time of Joshua’s death, and with Bernard T. Ng MD, a clinical/anatomic pathologist, not a forensic pathologist, on the staff of Ellis Hospital in Schenectady and the owner of Schenectady Pathology Associates P.C., in Schenectady. The contents of those recordings is nothing less that shocking.

The Bernard T. Ng’s Statements

We first reviewed the more than 35 minutes of recorded conversation of the mother of a victim who asked the question, whether Ng received or reviewed the victim’s medical records at the time of doing the autopsy. Ng never answers the question but dances around talking about everything else.

We gather from the content of the recording that Ng never reviewed the victim’s medical records prior to the autopsy, and conveniently leaves out important injuries that could not have gone unnoticed at autopsy, injuries that the Standards require be documented, but were not. Was Ng covering for his cronies at Albany Medical Center, where the young man died.

It is clearly established by every organization that represents the specialty of pathology or the specialty of forensic pathology that the goal of the forensic autopsy is to determine the cause of death, which is defined as “”. But Ng has his own definition: “Ultimately the findings of the autopsy for the determination of the cause of death is to determine whether or not the injuries were consistent with the accident [the victim] was in.” What this appears to mean is that Ng’s autopsy findings are aimed at confirming what the coroner or the police think should be cause of death; he is not doing autopsies objectively and competently (or honestly). But then Ng is not a forensic pathologist; that becomes obvious when he’s asked about x-rays, and responds:

The victim’s mother askes NG if he saw any of the incriminating x-rays. Ng responds:

I am not a radiologist and the x-ray images that I tend to deal with are mostly skeletal, penetrating injury…I’m not self confident…my responsibility is to correlate the type of injury with the event that caused them. The death was likely due to the sequence of this damage to the body.

and again,

I don’t think I would be the best person to review those x-rays; I think you should find another radiologist … I don’t think it would ultimately change the cause of death of your son.

and again,

No, I usually don’t get those because of the fact that I’m not a radiologist…the I saw in the physical examination of the body…I wouldn’t really be the right person to review these trauma x-rays they tend to have a lot of tubes and lines that are not necessarily there any more at time of the autopsy, a gown that … It’s hard for me to determine…I normally don’t look at these clinical x-rays, unless there’s a foreign object I’m looking for…I don’t have the training to look at those lines and to comment that they are not there in the right place.

Riley’s mother asks Ng if he took any pictures at the time of the autopsy. Ng says he’s going to look, and asks her to hold. At this point the recording continues for about 5 minutes and then goes dead. If Ng, as John Keegan states, usually takes autopsy photos, wouldn’t Ng know whether he did or did not? After all this wasn’t the first time Riley’s mother called about her son’s autopsy.

BTW, Riley’s mom is a nurse and apparently knows more about the procedures done on her son than Bernard Ng, or more than Ng cares to admit.

But even an AMC anesthesiologist on the case stated that they would never remove the tubes from the body, and John Keegan himself states that the tubes would or should be there at autopsy. But Bernard Ng neither notices the gaping hole in the young man’s neck, nor does he notice the holes in his chest, and he doesn’t see any trauma in his chest due to the clumsy manipulation of a chest tube by an inexperienced resident for over an hour!

Furthermore, radiologic evidence is a key tool for the qualified forensic pathologist but Bernard T. Ng, doesn’t feel that he should use or is qualified to use x-rays or radiological imaging in his autopsy work. A properly trained, qualified, board-certified forensic pathologist would never make such a statement.

Bernard T. Ng MD claims to have been doing medicolegal autopsies for about 20 years. We cannot even begin to think of the damage he’s done, and the number of inaccurately and incorrectly certified deaths in the counties using him for autopsy services. It’s criminal.

The John Keegan, Albany County Coroner Statements

John Keegan is a funeral director and is associated with the Magin & Keegan Funeral Home in Albany, New York. He has been an Albany County Coroner for more than 12 years but he doesn’t seem to grasp the seriousness and the scope of the coroner’s job.

Our first observation after reviewing the Death Certificates is that the Albany County Coroners don’t have a clue how to correctly certify a death or fill out a Death Certificate.

Every death results from cardiopulmonary arrest, the heart stops beating the person stops breathing but that’s not a death certificate cause of death. We discuss that above.

John Keegan is a nice enough guy; he has the cool manners of an undertaker, after all he is a funeral director. But when challenged, he gets really defensive, as we observed in the recorded conversation we reviewed. We think he should stick to the funeral business, and leave death investigation to someone with some appropriate credentials.

In recent years, medical examiners offices and coroners offices have attempted to take the edge of their authority to order autopsies, and the medical examiners and forensic pathologists, the qualified ones, that is, have been attempting to work with families when it becomes necessary to retain organs after autopsy, even when the body is returned to the family for final disposition. They give the family a call and advise them about what must be done, and may even sympathetically apologize for what the law requires. But not in Albany County.

When Riley’s mother questioned the fact that the family was not notified or consulted before Riley’s body was sent to Ellis Hospital to be autopsied by Bernard Ng, we were a bit surprised by Keegan’s response:

EKern:               Nobody asked the family.

JKeegan:    Nobody asked the family what… it’s the law that I order an autopsy, esp. in a motor vehicle accident.

When asked if the autopsy report is used to determine the cause of death, Keegan answers:

EKern: Isn’t it [the autopsy report] used to determine the cause of death?

JKeegan:         The autopsy report…certainly!

And when asked about whether the pathologist would be provided with Riley’s medical records, Keegan reponds:

JKeegan:         Well the pathologist gets every medical record from the hospital that is available, he reviews the medical record, and then proceeds to do an autopsy, with everything that he reads, sees, observes and that he finds in the procedures he does in the autopsy, the end result is he determines the cause of death or major factor that caused the death of the individual. I’m not a doctor, I’m an elected official who decides whether an autopsy is required or by law legally ordered, and that is what actually what I did. The doctor finds in his findings is exactly that, not whether the hospitals he finds the exact cause of death…

EKern:             Removal of the central line leaves a fairly large hole but I’m surprised it wasn’t reported…

JKeegan:         I’m assuming that if it had anything to do with his cause of death, it would have been documented. Again, I don’t want to answer for the pathologist, I don’t want to answer for the hospital … that’s not my job nor my expertise nor something that I can respond to because I don’t have anything to do with that.

When Riley’s mom asks about the fact that the tubes were apparently removed from Riley’s body before it was transported for autopsy, Keegan responds — this is the second time in the conversation where Keegan gets touchy, defensive:

EKern:      I’m becoming suspicious…The anesthesiologist there [at AMC] said that’s the number one thing: you do not touch those lines. And when I asked [Bernard Ng] about the autopsy report, he said they were not there…so …

JKeegan:   Well the autopsy report [sic] is not supposed to remove any lines. Well, we don’t remove … the responsible is the motorcycle accident. If you want to go further with that …

EKern:               I’d want people to be more sympathetic …

JKeegan:   You’re trying to accuse the Coroners Office of removing lines? I don’t want you to take it the wrong way. I ordered an autopsy…what the hospital did, I have no jurisdiction over them.

The Standards require that the medicolegal investigators cooperate and collaborate in parallel, that each agency conducts their work without interference from any other agency, that they all work together, and presumably talk to each other. That doesn’t seem to be happening in Albany County death investigations. It’s having a very bad effect on confidence in law enforcement, death investigations, and in justice overall. Corrective action is overdue.

Time Interval Between Actual Death and Discovery of the Body

One glaring omission we found in Bernard Ng’s so called medicolegal autopsies — at best a misrepresentation or even fraud — is the conspicuous lack of a statement relating to establishing a time of death.

In Riley Kern’s case, there was no real need to do this, since Riley was pronounced dead in a hospital setting following clinical procedures, which for one or another reason failed.

In Joshua Abood’s case, the timeframe between the time he was last seen alive, the interval between that and the event leading to his death, and the time between his death and the discovery of his body seem to have been overlooked. The National Association of Medical Examiners and other leading authorities clearly state in their Standards, that the post-mortem signs should be used for determining a time of death.

We’d like you to understand what we are talking about. You see, once a person dies, the body begins the process of decomposition, literally it breaks down. This process can be described by four basic changes that can be observed externally: post-mortem signs. There are 4 main postmortem signs, which occur in this order: (1) pallor mortis the paleness associated with a dead body; (2) algor mortis, the cooling of a dead body; (3) rigor mortis, the initial stiffening of the dead body; (4) livor mortis, the pooling of blood in the dead body. These signs occur in the first 24 hours after death occurs.

Postmortem Death Signs

Pallor mortis is the first sign and occurs due to the absence of blood flow to the skin and surface vessels. Algor mortis is the second sign, and is also due to the shutdown of the body’s metabolic processes and the absence of blood flow. This results in the change in the body’s core temperature, and depends on environmental factors that should be taken into consideration at scene investigation; the body assumes environmental temperature. Rigor mortis is the 3rd sign, where muscles contract or stiffen due to the release of chemicals affecting the muscles. Livor mortis is the pooling of blood in the lowermost parts of the body in telltale patterns. Two other events occur in addition to these signs. The first is primary flaccidity or the condition following death when the body goes limp (all the muscles relax); in this stage there the urinary and anal sphicters may relax. Once tissue decomposition has reached a certain stage, a second phase of relaxation called secondary flaccidity occurs. This whole cycle can take about 24 hours, and is used by forensic experts to determine time of death and other information relating to the deceased.

Forensic Pathologist

Bernard T. Ng is what is called a clinical/anatomical pathologist but is not a qualified forensic pathologist; he does not have the necessary training or certification, and should not be doing forensic or medicolegal autopsies in connection with coroner’s or law-enforcement death investigations. If, as he states, he’s been doing this for 20 years, it is tantamount to professional malpractice, or even criminal fraud.

When a body is discovered, and following initial scene investigation and on site examination of the body, the deceased is usually subjected to the forensic autopsy. This is where the specially trained forensic pathologist enters the picture. His role is basically to answer four questions: (1) Who is this? (2) When did you die? (3) Where did you die? (4) How did you die? (5) Why did you die? and if there is suspicion of homicide, (6) Who did it? This dialogue between the forensic pathologist and the corpse will determine what type of autopsy is required, external or internal examination or both, and then to carry out the autopsy and determine the answers to the “death dialogue” questions, which only the deceased and the scene investigation can answer.

Forensic Pathologist vs. Coroner

The medical examiner/coroner investigates deaths that are unexpected, unexplained, or if an injury or poisoning was involved. State laws provide guidelines for when a medical examiner/coroner must be notified. The medical examiner or coroner will either complete the cause-of-death section of the death certificate or waive that responsibility. If the medical examiner/coroner does not accept the case, then the certifying medical professional will need to complete the cause-of-death section. In Albany County, the county coroner will usually certify the death on the death certificate.

The Forensic Pathologist is specially trained to determine the cause and manner of death. And she can be hired to perform private autopsies, medicolegal, or forensic autopsies, and to be an expert witness and testify in court. The Coroner is a lay person elected or appointed to oversee the operation of the coroner’s office and to investigate deaths. In general, coroners have little or no medical or forensics training. Coroner’s rely on law-enforcement to do the overall investigation of the incident and forensic Pathologists to perform autopsies.

As we’ve clearly shown in the case of John Keegan and Antonio Sturges, and in the professional literature on the subject, most jurisdictions have recognized that coroners are generally ignorant and can cause more problems than they solve; they can be serious speed bumps in any death investigation. That is one reason why so many jurisdictions, that is, counties and states, have upgraded their death investigation offices to the Office of the Medical Examiner (ME), a physician licensed to practice medicine, and frequently specializing in forensic pathology.

You don’t have to look far for any of the above. Albany County is the place to go to find it. Try Albany Medical Center (AMC), Ellis Hospital and Schenectady Pathology Associates for professional misconduct.

Investigation and Documentation of Death

There is general confusion among coroners and even among some pathologists as to when the terms “cause of death” and “mechanism of death” or “manner of death,” and even a superficial review of death certificates will prove this point.

The cause of death or “immediate cause of death” is the specific injury or disease that leads to death. Cause of death” refers to the physical factors that caused the body to stop functioning and answers the question, “Why did you die?” “Why did you die?” might also include the “mechanism” of death, which is the specific physiological disturbances that actually led to death or the cessation of life. For example, a heart attack death could die from a fatal irregular rhythm in the heart such as ventricular fibrillation, for example, or from severe damage to the heart muscle, leading to shock. Here the cause of death is a cardiac arrest, but the mechanism is a cardiac arrhythmia or cardiogenic shock, respectively.

The “manner of death” means how the cause of death actually occurred, that is, what circumstances led to the cause of the death event. “How did you die?” In general, there are five manners of death: natural, accidental, suicide, homicide (which technically would include suicide), and undetermined. A gunshot wound (the cause of death), may have been accidental, suicidal, or homicidal, for example. Only deaths from old age or naturally-occurring disease can be considered natural.

The Albany County Coroners have shown themselves to be incompetent political fixtures, and Bernard T. Ng MD is incompetent and inconsistent, and is not qualified to perform medicolegal or forensic autopsies. Albany County and any other county operating under the authority of a coroners office or even a medical examiner, and there are allegedly 15 such counties, who base their coroner’s death certifications and their law-enforcement death investigations on the findings of a coroner or the results of autopsies performed by Bernard T. Ng, must be held accountable for their ignorance and indifference, and for the serious damage they are doing to the public interest and to public health overall.

It’s time to hold the County Executive, Daniel McCoy (Dem), the Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares (Dem), the Albany County Legislature, the Albany County Office of the Coroner, Bernard T. Ng, Ellis Hospital, and Albany Medical Center ACCOUNTABLE and ANSWERABLE to the public. It’s time the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, the Abany City Police, Cohoes Police, the New York State Parks Police, the Coeymans Police Department, and all of the 15 counties using Bernart T. Ng as their medicolgal death investigation pathologist, are ACCOUNTABLE and ANSWERABLE for cheating the public and the families of the deceased!

As for Bernard T. Ng, Ellis Hospital, Albany Medical Center, it is our intention to file formal complaints together with the families of Riley Kern and Joshua Abood, with the the New York State Department of Health, The American Board of Pathology, the New York State Department of Education, Division of Professional Misconduct Enforcement, and the National Association of Medical Examiners, demanding investigation and disciplinary action. The same formal complaint and demands will be filed with the New York State Department of Health against the funeral directors acting in their capacity as Albany County Coroners. Furthermore, we will demand that the Office of the State Attorney General investigate the Office of the Albany County Executive, the Office of the Albany County District Attorney, New York State Police Criminal Investigators, Troop G, Latham, NY, and other agencies for their abuse of public office in obstructing justice. We will further join with families of deceased who come under the jurisdiction of the Albany County Coroners to demand a thorough investigation of all deaths certified by the Albany County Coroners and the certification of Immediate Cause of Death, autopsies done by Bernard T. Ng MD upon request of the Albany county Coroners, and a thorough review of the investigation and certification procedures of the Albany County Coroners Office.

The **it’s hit the fan, dudes!

Our next Segment will discuss the Autopsies, the Autopsy Reports, and the Albany County Coroners’ Death Certifications.


Notes:

[1] See: Payne-James, Jason, and Roger W. Byard. Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine. Elsevier, (2016). Print.

[2] Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting. Hyattsville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, 2003. Print.


We are back to the Joshua Abood case, and will provide more specifics and detail on the investigation and the weirdos investigating and making decisions in the case. Stay tuned for the upcoming segment that will deal with New York State Police Investigator Thomas Burns, Albany County Coroner Antonio Sturges and the Albany County Legislature and the Albany County Coroners Office, Ellis Hospital (Schenectady) pathologist Bernard Ng, and New York State Assemblyman John T. McDonald III.

Some Related Smalbany Articles

Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office
A Response to Lorin Marra. re: Office of the Albany County Coroners
The Cover-up Continues… A Mother’s Despair
Riley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective

WTF?!?
You can’t make this sh*t up!
This is the Twilight Zone!
( NYS Assemblyman John T. McDonald III )

ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 30, 2020 in * Sick Community, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Court Judge Ackerman, Albany County Department of Children, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Medical Center, Albany Police, Antonio Delgado, Antonio Sturges, Assemblyman John McDonald, Ben Sturges, Capital District, Capital Region Independent Media, Chief Todd Waldin, Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department, Cohoes Mayor, Cohoes Police Department, Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center, D. W. Contento, Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, District Attorney, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Ellis Hospital, Emily Kern, FBI, Friends of Coeymans, George A. Amedore, George Amedore, George McHugh, Giovanni Ortiz, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Hearst Corporation, Hudson Valley, Investigation, Investigator Thomas Burns, John Keegan, Joshua Abood, Judge Andra Ackerman, Law Enforcement, Law Enforcement Arrogance, Lustgarten Foundation, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Marcus Ford, Matilda Cuomo, Mayor Keeler, Mayor William Keeler, Mayor William T. Keeler, New York State, New York State Police, New York State Police, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, P. David Soares, Peebles Island, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Professional Misconduct, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Robert Carney, Schenectady District Attorney, Senate District 46, Smalbany, Tashawna Daniels, Thomas Burns, Times Union, Tits on a Bull, Todd Waldin, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen, U-CAN, William T. Keeler

 

The Joshua Abood Case: Is Bernard T. NG, MD, Unlawfully, Fraudulently Performing Forensic Autopsies?

A real forensic pathologist is specially trained and accredited by board certification in the field of forensic pathology. The American Board of Pathology is usually the agency that examines and certifies a candidate to call himself a forensic pathologist; if a forensic pathologist acts as a Medical Examiner (ME), he will usually also be a member of the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME).

For more information, see the University of New Mexico, Office of the Medical Examiner, ⇒What is a forensic pathologist?⇐ page, which provides excellent information on the topic.

Fraud in the Autopsy Room?


The Albany County Coroners Office and Bernard T. Ng may be perpetrating the biggest fraud in recent Albany County history. Bernard T. Ng, MD, of Schenectady, NY, a pathologist at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, and the owner of Schenectady Pathology Associates, PC, also in Schenectady, is accepting autopsy cases from the Albany County Coroners Office but Ng is not a board-certified forensic pathologist, and is not qualified to perform forensic autopsies in the context of medicolegal death investigations! Not only is the Albany County Coroners Office complict in this fraud and deception, and even worse still, is obstructing the public health mission of death investigation and forensic autopsy practice.


Who’s to blame? Bernard Ng or the Albany County Coroners?

The Albany County Coroners Office, law enforcement, and privacy laws have aided and abetted this fraud, while the ignorance and political cronyism in Albany County has fostered and fed this ghoulish deception of the public.

This is not only a scandalous violation of the law and the purpose of medicolegal death investigation, placing an unqualified pathologist in the position to take a lead in death investigations, together with the lack of any real scientific qualifications of the Albany County Coroners, who are all funeral directors, except for Antonio Sturges, who runs a diabetic supply business, misleads law enforcement, screws up death and public health statistics big time, and generally harms overall healthcare, safety, and well-being in the living population!

Our investigation into Bernard T. Ng began in late 2018 when we were asked by next-of-kin of 19-year old Riley Kern, who died under suspicious circumstances when his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck driven by Travis Hagen, a prominent Coeymans resident, while Hagen was leaving the Sycamore Country Club in Coeymans. The accident was investigated by the Coeymans Police Department, which meant that there were multiple defects and deficiencies in the investigation. The young man died under medically suspect circumstances at Albany Medical Center. Albany County Coroner John Keegan was involved and ordered a medicolegal autopsy, which was performed at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, by our friend Bernard Ng. Bernard Ng had no business conducting a medicolegal autopsy. The Riley Kern case is now in the courts.

Our second investigation into the practices of the Albany County Coroners Office and their relationship with Bernard T. Ng started when we were requested to assist the family of Joshua Abood, the 22-year-old man who was found at Peebles Park, face down in the Mohawk River, on June 10, 2020. The man’s family saw our coverage of the Riley Kern case, the 19-year-old who was killed in Coeymans in July 2018 , and contacted us after they lost confidence in the New York State Police investigation led by NYSP Investigator Thomas L. Burns, of NYSP Troop G in Latham, NY.

The family sent us Joshua’s death certificate certified by Antonio Sturges, part-time coroner appointed in 2019 to finish Benjamin Sturges’ term, and the Autopsy Report prepared and signed by Bernard T. Ng MD, of Ellis Hospital, in Schenectady. We have also been provided with copy of a letter dated August 6, 2020, from the man’s mother to Bernard Ng, in which Joshua’s mother illustrates some of the defects and deficiencies that would be conspicuous and glaring even to the uninformed reader.

Joshua’s Theme was
Never give up!

In her letter, the mother refers to the Death Certificate only, which would indicate that she luckily did not yet have a copy of the autopsy report, which, if read together with the Death Certificate prepared by part-time Albany County Coroner Antonio Sturges, would have really given her a migraine!

We are at an advantage because we have both the Death Certificate (signed June 10, 2020, Antonio Sturges and June 11, 2020, Bernard Ng) and the Autopsy Report (signed July 29, 2020, Bernard T. Ng MD). Neither document compares favorably with the other. For example: Ng does not clearly state a “cause of death” that makes any sense whatsoever. His autopsy report simply states, “Immediate cause of death is consistent with drowning with laryngeal spasm secondary to alcohol intoxication.” Gobbeldygook!

First of all, drowning death is a process, not a single cause. Second, “laryngeal spasm” is a reflex that occurs in a living person, not in a man dead more than 24 hours! The alcohol intoxication may be considered relevant, but how? The report makes no statement on that.

Antonio Sturges’ Death Certification is even more stupid! He states that the immediate cause of death as “Cardiopulmonary arrest;” in other words, heart attack! According to Sturges, the heart attack was the “consequence of drowning,” and the drowning was due to “fall into water [and] intoxication.” WTF!?! And no one has picked up on this rubbish? Unbelievable. You can’t make this stuff up!!!

Unfortunately, Joshua’s mother knows about as much about the Albany County Coroner’s role in the investigation as Bernard Ng knows about forensic autopsy: ZILCH!

But she’s right about one thing: Not only are the circumstances of Joshua’s death “suspicious,” the entire medicolegal death investigation is becoming more and more suspicious as we uncover more information!

Michelle, Joshua’s mother, appears to be a more competent coroner than Antonio Sturges, and a better forensic pathologist than Bernard Ng, when she asks:

“Furthermore, some questions and concerns regarding the findings and information on Joshua’s certificate of death are;
“● Was Joshua’s temperature taken when his body was recovered and compared to the temperature of the water that he “drowned” in and his body traveled in? I ask this because you did not include a time of death. This information is crucial to this case as investigators have questioned details down to a very small time frame.
“● How was my son Joshua’s body able to float all the way from where the “incident” happened to where they discovered his body if the ruling is accurate? Was there enough air in his lungs to make that possible?
“● On Joshua’s death certificate you indicated that he was not hospitalized in the past 2 months prior to his death. This is incredibly inaccurate. My best guess is that whoever recorded this, simply assumed it to be true without any valid search. Joshua was
hospitalized and spent a week in the ICU just weeks before he died.”

Michelle’s questions are all well placed and, even if she weren’t exposed to the moronic autopsy report, they do reflect valid questions that arise from the bungled Death Certificate! Ng should have been provided with all of the facts and information relating to the coroner’s information and the information collected by law enforcement at the scene, and Ng should have reviewed all of that information prior to doing any autopsy. But, given the fact that Antonio Sturges did the coroner’s investigation at the scene before having the body transported to Ellis Hospital might explain Ng’s autopsy report; Sturges’ inaccurate and incomplete documentation could have misled Ng. The fault for the mother’s confusion might lie 90% with the Albany County Coroners Office, specifically with Antonio Sturges.

We also investigated the Riley Kern case in detail and we can say that the Albany County Coroner investigating that death was John Keegan, a funeral director with Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, and his statements are just as ignorant as anything we’ve heard about Sturges. Ng also did Riley’s autopsy.

Michelle closes her letter with a very profound statement:

“Taking into consideration my concerns and questions, including lack of accuracy and what appears to be an inaccurate ruling. Because of this, I fear that my son Joshua’s investigation isn’t and hasn’t been given the precedence and attention to detail that it needs and deserves.
“As Joshua’s mother and next of kin I am respectfully requesting that you take the time to look into all of these facts, questions and concerns that I have addressed to you and PLEASE at the very least, consider changing your ruling to suspicious. Please give this your time and much needed attention. I know that you may see things like this every day, however, this is MY SON and deserves more than assumptions and invalid data.”

As we mentioned above, Michelle’s letter was written on August 6, 2020, way before we got involved, and she certainly hits the nail on the head.

We should also note that Ng makes no mention whatsoever about important postmortem changes in Joshua’s body that any real forensic autopsy would have taken into consideration hands down!

We reviewed both documents and found them to be incomplete, inaccurate, amateurish, contradictory, and generally substandard. It’s documents like these that defeat the purpose of public health and vital statistics efforts from the bottom up. They make death investigation expensive and a total waste of taxpayer money, while giving loved ones and the bereaved no comfort or relief.

Based on information we received regarding the performance of the New York State Police investigators, they weren’t much better; the Cohoes Police Department, who were also involved, were complete losers, even when asked to investigate the removal of flyers posted seeking information about the case and offering a reward.

Riley’s case almost identical!
Demands Justice!

Back to Bernard T. Ng and the Albany County Coroners Office ⇒⇒⇒⇒

Ng works with the Coroners Office as an independent contractor, as a coroner’s pathologist, and the Albany County coroners send coroner case bodies to Schenectady for autopsy by Ng. Problem is, the coroner is the county official charged with the duty to investigate medicolegal cases, and to do that they need a pathologist specially trained in forensic pathology, who is qualified to perform the very detailed and sensitive forensic autopsy procedure. Ng does not have that qualification, and is not certified by the American Pathology Board to do forensic autopsies/


Editor’s Note: You might be asking why Albany County Coroners are sending cases to Bernard Ng in Schenectady. Well, the problem is based on money and greed. Surprised?

Ng knows this but Ng still takes on the cases.

The Albany County Coroners Office knows or should know this but still sends Ng bodies for autopsy in the context of medicolegal death investigations.

The Albany County District Attorney, P. David Soares knows or should know this but as usual, has slept on his duty to the people of Albany County, and to the victims of crime and suspicious deaths!

Now we know this and we are going public with it and demanding accountability. Does it take a high-visibility class-action lawsuit to get their attention?

Do attorneys and the courts have to get involved to get elected officials and public servants to do what’s right?

As we mentioned above, we received Joshua Abood’s Death Certificate and his Autopsy Report, and proceeded to review both and to scrutinize them as if we were trial consultants. It didn’t take us long to determine that both documents were practically useless, if not outright misleading and contradticotry.

In the context of the Joshua A.T. Abood case, we have applied the Forensic Autopsy Performance Standards[1]  as promulgated by the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) to Bernard T. Ng, MD, and the Office of the Albany County Coroner as the hiring authority and requesting authority for autopsies to be performed by Ng.

This raises some very serious questions: (1) Are the autopsies requested by the Albany County Coroner being called forensic autopsies as they should be called, according to applicable statutes, rules, and regulations? (2) Is the Albany County Coroners Office aware that Ng is not a board-certified forensic pathologist qualified and authorized to perform forensic autopsies? (3) Is Bernart T.Ng accepting these cases for forensic autopsy knowingly, and aware that he is not a certified forensic pathologist, and therefore not qualified or authorized to perform forensic autopsies in the context of a medicolegal death investigation. In other words, the Albany County Coroners should not be sending bodies to Ng for autopsy in the context of a medicolegal death investigation, and Ng should not be accepting the cases, because (1) he knows they are medicolegal death investigations, (2) such investigations require a specially trained forensic pathologist, (3) he, Ng, is not a specially trained forensic pathologist by any standard!

We think this is not only a scandal, we think it is the subject of legal action that should be taken against the County of Albany, the Albany County Coroners, and against Bernard T. Ng MD!

Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, where Bernard T Ng is a member of the Pathology Department, is equally at fault for allowing Ng to perpetrate his misconduct on Ellis Hospital property! Time for the Schenectady County DA Robert Carney to get off his butt and get involved!

The damage is done once the investigation is closed, too often closed without an arrest, because the incompetent autopsy doesn’t tell the whole story. An important indication or sign gets missed, or an important test doesn’t get done, and the case either gets closed or goes cold. The body is cremated or buried, and the family never knows or gets closure.

What’s even worse is that the very purpose of the forensic autopsy from the public health view point is missed.

In the forensic autopsy, the primary goal is usually to determine the cause and manner of death. In the chapter on ‘The forensic postmortem examination and the medicolegal autopsy’ from his classic 1970s text ‘The Pathology of Homicide,’ Lester Adelson wrote that when the pathologist performs an autopsy investigated under medicolegal auspices, the efforts must be directed to find the answers to six questions. The ‘question-and-answer exercise,’ or dialog with the dead, is the pathologist’s interrogation of the cadaver, asking specifically (1) Who are you? (2) When did you die? (3) Where did you die? (4) Why did you die? (5) What happened? and if it is a homicide (6) Who did it?

Traditionally, the emphasis of work done by medical examiners, coroners, and the death investigation community has been viewed as serving the criminal justice system. During the last several decades, however, an important role for these 3 groups has emerged within public health.

It is the duty of coroners, medical examiners, and forensic pathologists to provide important background information on death investigation systems, to assist in the evolution of programs of public health entities that rely on information gathered by medical examiners and coroners, and we must not overlook the the role of medical examiners and coroners in providing the raw data on deaths for epidemiologic research, health surveillance, and existing public health programs and activities. When a link in this chain fails, as it has in Albany County, the adverse impact is felt far and wide, right up to the CDC’s vital statistics a databases.


Editor’s Note: Dr. Randy Hanzlick, MD, a forensic pathology specialist with more than 44 years of experience in the medicolegal field, has written numerous articles on forensic pathology and public health. In an article dealing specifically with medical examiners, coroners, and publich health, Dr Hanzlick writes:

“The essential services of public health have been enumerated as follows: monitor health status, inform and empower people, develop policies and plans, link people to health services, evaluate quality, diagnose health problems, mobilize community partnerships, enforce laws and regulations, assure a competent workforce, and research for new insights.12 The work or participation of forensic pathologists, medical examiners, and coroners fits well into many aspects of these essential public health services.”

[Editor’s Note: Request the entire article from your community library by citing: Medical examiners, coroners, and public health: a review and update. Hanzlick R. “Medical Examiners, Coroners,and Public Health.” Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2006 Sep;130(9):1274-82. doi: 10.1043/1543-2165(2006)130[1274:MECAPH]2.0.CO;2. MID: 16948511.]

One of the reasons the Albany County Coroners are sending their cases to an unqualified pathologist in Schenectady, Bernard T. Ng, is because of the greed and amorality of the accountants running Albany Medical Center (AMC), just up the street from the County Coroners offices!

If your loved one has to go through this, shouldn’t it be done right?

In a recent report in the Post Star (Glens Falls) article, AMC cites the retirement of one of their forensic pathologists for their attempt to back off from providing autopsies for surrounding counties, but even that didn’t stop them from doubling the cost of autopsies, which doesn’t include the pathologist’s, support staff, or other fees! What we find very disturbing is that we cannot find any report of this in the local media! Politics at work?

“Instead, the hospital notified coroners during a conference call on Thursday that it plans to more than double the price it charges to have autopsies performed at its facilities, from”$924 to $2,000 per post-mortem examination. And that fee does not include the charges from physicians who are involved.

In that article, the specific fact of the region’s largest medical school and medical center will not have a qualified forensic pathologist to do the autopsies, which supports the points we make in this article. According to the Albany Medical Center spokesperson, Tania Allard,  “… the morgue will remain open with a new fee schedule, and confirmed that forensic toxicology will no longer be offered as the hospital will “no longer have the expertise to provide forensic toxicology services.” But forensic toxicology services can be outsourced, of course. But why double the cost of the autopsy itself? [Source: Don Lehman. “Albany Med threatens to halt autopsies, then hikes prices.” Post Star (October 25, 2018)]

AMC CEO James Barba

So, when AMC doubles the price of an autopsy required by medicolegal death investigators for the benefit of the public, YOU, who do you think is going to have to foot the bill? AMC is big business, and is a non-profit/education institution; they pay no taxes but rake in big bucks from donations, gifts, fees, grants, and state and federal funding!

Compare that to their executives’ salaries: Albany Business Review lists the highest-paid executives in the Capital Region area and notes that seventh on the list is Albany Med CEO James Barba, with a base salary of $944,00 and total compensation of $1.845-million and 21st on the list is St. Peter’s Health Partners CEO Vincent Verdile with base of $620,465 and total compensation of $1.059-million. If that isn’t obscene we’d like to know what is! [Source: Hospital finances improve, Chronical (Glens Falls), Mark Frost, Chronicle Editor.)

SHAME! DISGRACE! ALBANY, NY, BUSINESS AS USUAL! AMC has to come up with the CEOs salary before they can even think of providing healthcare!


If Bernard T. Ng, MD, is not a board-certified forensic pathologist qualified to perform forensic autopsies in the context of medicolegal death investigation then he is in serious violation of professional ethics and the law. If the Albany County Coroners Office is referring cases to Bernart T. Ng, MD, for forensic autopsy, for which Ng is apparently not qualified, the Coroners of the Albany County Coroners Office are accessories, and should be subject to discipline or prosecution for their violations of the public interest.

Since Bernard T. Ng, MD, is not a board-certified forensic pathologist, he should not be receiving cases for medicolegal death investigation or for forensic autopsy from the Albany County Coroner’s Office or anyone else. That is, in our experienced opinion, tantamount to fraudulent misrepresentation and criminal fraud on the part of Ng, and perhaps conspiracy and abuse of office, as well as complicity in Ng’s scams on the part of the Albany County Coroners.

Our questions are: Where is County Executive Daniel McCoy (Dem), County DA David Soares (Dem

), and the Albany County Legislature while all of this is going on?

No professional board would advocate that a pathologist who is not a board certified forensic patholo

gist perform forensic or autopsies or autopsies in the context of a medicolegal death investigation, nor would any professional board condone such practices. So why does Ng continue the misconduct? Why does the Albany County Coroner continue this practice? Why does law enforcement, particularly the New York State Police Criminal Investigation and its Investigators turn a blind eye to this scandalous state of affairs, which degrades their work product, contaminates death investigations, and slaps the public in the face, while shortchanging survivors and the bereaved?


Notes:

[1] Peterson, Garry F, and Steven C. Clark. Forensic Autopsy Performance Standards., National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME). Walnut Shade, MO (2015). Print.


We are back to the Joshua Abood case, and will provide more specifics and detail on the investigation and the weirdos investigating and making decisions in the case. Stay tuned for the upcoming segment that will deal with New York State Police Investigator Thomas Burns, Albany County Coroner Antonio Sturges and the Albany County Legislature and the Albany County Coroners Office, Ellis Hospital (Schenectady) pathologist Bernard Ng, and New York State Assemblyman John T. McDonald III.

Some Related Smalbany Articles

Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office
A Response to Lorin Marra. re: Office of the Albany County Coroners
The Cover-up Continues… A Mother’s Despair
Riley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective

WTF?!?
You can’t make this sh*t up!
This is the Twilight Zone!
( NYS Assemblyman John T. McDonald III )

ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 28, 2020 in * Sick Community, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Court Judge Ackerman, Albany County Department of Children, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Medical Center, Albany Police, Antonio Delgado, Antonio Sturges, Assemblyman John McDonald, Ben Sturges, Capital District, Capital Region Independent Media, Chief Todd Waldin, Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department, Cohoes Mayor, Cohoes Police Department, Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center, D. W. Contento, Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, District Attorney, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Ellis Hospital, Emily Kern, FBI, Friends of Coeymans, George A. Amedore, George Amedore, George McHugh, Giovanni Ortiz, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Hearst Corporation, Hudson Valley, Investigation, Investigator Thomas Burns, John Keegan, Joshua Abood, Judge Andra Ackerman, Law Enforcement, Law Enforcement Arrogance, Lustgarten Foundation, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Marcus Ford, Matilda Cuomo, Mayor Keeler, Mayor William Keeler, Mayor William T. Keeler, New York State, New York State Police, New York State Police, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, P. David Soares, Peebles Island, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Professional Misconduct, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Robert Carney, Schenectady District Attorney, Senate District 46, Smalbany, Tashawna Daniels, Thomas Burns, Times Union, Tits on a Bull, Todd Waldin, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen, U-CAN, William T. Keeler

 

Mob Rule in America: The Myth Revealed and the Cover-up Discovered (?)

Anyone who doesn’t see a cover-up in this story needs to open their eyes!

A couple of months ago we reported on the death of a young man, 19-year old Riley Kern, just outside the Sycamore Country Club, on Route 143, when a local man, Travis Hagen,  driving a pick-up truck pulled out and caused the motorcycle Riley was riding to collide with the pick-up, causing fatal injuries to Riley, who died a couple  hours later in surgery at Albany Medical Center.

Here’s a touching slideshow for Riley

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We also reported that the Coeymans Police never did a required drug and alcohol testa test required by New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law!!! — on the driver of the pick-up truck. The Coeymans Police never did an accident investigation or reconstruction. There was no follow-up and there was no investigation why the Coeymans Police and Coeymans police officer on the scene, Ian Foard, never did the drug and alcohol testing on the pick-up truck driver, Travis Hagen, or never conducted an accident scene investigation. We suggested a cover-up because of Hagen’s connections in the area.

Coeymans PD Ian Foard, a reject from the Mechanicville Police Department, a part-timer hired by the Town of Coeymans Police Department, and under the direct supervision of then acting police chief Daniel Contento, was not investigated. His report, which was full of contradictions and speculation, was approved by Contento without question.

People in this country tend to have very short memories. Here are some of the articles we posted on Riley’s death. You may want to revisit them:

Readers may also be interested in our article on the corruption in the Albany County Coroner’s Office. Read our article: Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office. Moonlighting undertakers who can’t even spell in an official document should not be doing medicolegal death investigations!!!

Why aren’t you asking these questions? Would you if it were your child?

Riley’s mother lives in Kansas and has desperately been trying to get to the truth, to find answers to burning questions. So are we!!!

We received this comment today, months after the accident, from the boy’s mother, who has been getting contradictory double-talk from just about every agency from the Coeymans Police Department, to the Albany County Coroner’s Office, to …. Well the list goes on. Where’s the Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares on all of this? Isn’t he the chief law-enforcement officer in the County of Albany. He’s been and continues to be a racist sack of manure, a weak, stupid, ball-less Oreo. Riley’s mom writes:

I am living the nightmare! After investigating the death of my son my conclusions are identical to all the info in this blog!!! And this is the first time I’ve read this article!! It’s all way to true. It’s painful! I can’t believe it’s been allowed to go on this long!! I’ve got all the documentation to support the subject of this article. I also have a feeling I won’t be seeing justice served, not in Albany anyhow. I can’t be the only victim, where the hell are all the fighters???!

Riley’s mom is referring to our article on the Albany County Coroner,  Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office. We responded:

You are likely not the only victim. The problem is epidemic not only in this region of New York but it appears throughout the county. People have despaired of their government, their elected officials; there is no representation except for self-representation from the individual to Capitol Hill! The media can’t be trusted to keep public servants and elected officials in line and, because the American people have lost all faith and trust in their government, they just don’t pull together to put things right. Blame it on the propaganda you see on the television, read in the newspapers, hear on the radio, blasted with in pop music. We have become a deranged, perverse, decadent, and very angry society. We are facing a terrible future because we stupidly allow ourselves to be manipulated and coerced, even abused by the very people in whom we have traditionally been taught and conditioned to trust: our elected officials, the church and religion, our neighbors.

The United States, the mythical “America”, has never been a land of law but a land of lawlessness, mob rule, whether the mob was a band of vigilantes lynching Irishmen, Italians, and Negros in the 20th century, the organized crime “mob,” or the political party mob. America is not run by the rule of law and never has been if you read history; it has always been the rule of the mob. But they don’t teach your kids history anymore or ethics or handwriting. Lady Liberty is weeping!!!

It’s starting to look like Nazi Germany in the US.
Some Americans have succumbed to the propaganda. Not us!

The boy’s father lives locally in Albany County. We suggest that he mobilize the boy’s family and friends and go on a letter-writing rampage, sending as many letters to state and federal lawmakers representing this area. We suggest that the boy’s father, family, and friends make an organized assault on the DA’s office and Governor Cuomo’s office, demanding an investigation!!! The police come under the Executive branch of government and the DA and the Governor head that branch.

We recommend that the boy’s mother start a campaign from Kansas to New York!!! She has Facebook following and had launched an apparently successful fundraiser on Facebook to defray the costs of the boy’s funeral expenses. She must get all those supporters motivated and activated and launch an assault on the Kansas Governor’s office to contact the New York Governor and demand an investigation of the boy’s death and the obvious cover-up surrounding the circumstances.

We also recommend that the mother motivate and activate all of the boy’s friends and family in Kansas, including his schoolmates to bombard the Kansas Governor, the New York Governor, lawmakers, the Albany County DA’s office and the Town of Coeymans demanding a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the boy’s death.


A Personal Comment from the Editor

As a local resident, I am deeply embarrassed and ashamed of how my neighbors have shut their eyes to this tragedy and so many other events and situations in this area. I have been writing this blog for about 5 years now, exposing every conceivable evil and crime imaginable. Almost a half-million readers worldwide support this blog. Imagine what readers outside the greater Capital District, even outside of this country, think of this area when they read our reports! Aren’t you people, residents of Albany, Ravena, Coeymans, New Baltimore, and the surrounding areas of New York deeply troubled, ashamed of what’s going on here. Aren’t you deeply guilt-ridden and ashamed that you continue to sit on your fat asses and do nothing while a select few destroy not only our communities, but our future and our reputation nationwide and internationally.???

Mark Vinciguerra, formerly of the Johnson Newspaper Group, now owner/publisher of the Ravena News Herald, supported Riley’s cause by sending Melanie Lekocevic to cover Riley’s memorial service at Feura Bush Town Park. The Town of New Scotland was outstanding in their support of Riley. Too bad we can’t say the same for the Town of Coeymans.

The News Herald story covering Riley’s memorial service in Feura Bush Town Park,  Remembering a life lost too soon, was the only coverage, the only mention in any media of the accident. We found it very strange that the accident wasn’t mentioned anywhere before that. Don’t you?

We hope that Mr Vinciguerra will continue his support of justice and Riley by joining us in the investigation of this shameful cover-up.


The only way to fight mob rule and defeat it is to organize, mobilize, and neutralize. Riley’s family, friends, and supporters need to get seriously involved and start writing, fighting, and kicking some political ass!!!

Time to wake up, people!!!
You might be next…

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2019 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Accountability, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Coroners Office, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Executive, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany Medical Center, Antonio Delgado, Bring out your dead, Capital District, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Attorney, Coeymans Town Board, Conspiracy, Corruption, Craig D. Apple Sr., Cuomo, D. W. Contento, Daniel Contento, David Soares, Death Investigation, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Feura Bush Park, Feura Bush Village Park, George Amedore, Government, Governor Mario Cuomo, Human Rights, Ian Foard, Investigation, James Cavanaugh, John B. Johnson, Johnson Newspaper Group, Law Enforcement, Lorin Marra, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Mark Vinciguerra, Marra Funeral Home, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, Motor Vehicle Accident, Motorcycle, New York State, New York State Police, News Herald, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Official Misconduct, P. David Soares, Paul Gumpher, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Public Corruption, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena News Herald, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Sycamore Country Club, The Daily Mail, Thomas Marra, Times Union, Timmothy Cavanaugh, Town of Bethlehem, Town of Coeymans, Traffic Accident, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen, William Misuraca

 

A Response to Lorin Marra. re: Office of the Albany County Coroners

We published an article “Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office” on September 13, 2017, about the office of the Albany County Coroners, and how the office is obsolete, tainted, and chock full of local funeral directors. The politics of the coroners’ office is as corrupt as it can get, and is a product of the nepotism and favoritism that has plagued Albany politics from within the mayor’s office to the police department to the office of the county coroner.


In the preparation phase of the article, we did extensive research both on the history of the office of coroner in general, including scholarly articles discussing the office of the coroner, and published professional journal articles comparing and critiquing the office of the coroner and the office of medical director. In addition to our research of public information and education material and the scholarly and professional journals, we also filed demands for the production of documents and information with Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Green Counties for information on their respective coroners or medical examiners.

Seal of the County of Albany, NY

Overall, personal contacts with the Albany County Office of the Coroner were very open and informative. The demands served on the counties of Schenectady (medical examiner), Rensselaer (medical examiner), and Greene (coroners) under the NYS Freedom of Information Law were less than open and honest. Rensselaer is in violation of the law by not having responded at all; Schenectady and Greene county, while responding, were evasive and off base. Why all the defensiveness? They’re not so defensive when asking for funding but then, in our culture of death denial, who really keeps tabs on them anyway? WE DO!

We received an interesting comment from Lorin Marra, who is somehow associated with the Marra Funeral Home and with Paul Marra, the “owner/operator” of Mara Funeral home in Cohoes and an Albany County Coroner. When we received Lorin’s comment we were a bit taken by its defensiveness and it only later occurred to us that it’s an election year and Paul Marra is running for re-election as an Albany County Coroner. Having made that connection, it was not surprising that a Marra family member would come out and defend Paul Marra, the candidate.

But wasn’t it a bit cowardly, a clear lack of integrity for someone running for public office not to personally respond in a comment and have his daughter respond for him. Maybe Paul left his cojones in the autopsy room, at one of the allegedly “1000” autopsies he claims to have attended (but no one in official circles knows about). Did anyone see that pig flying by just now? Wanna buy a bridge?

According to Lorin Marra, pigs really do have wings!

.It should be noted that Ms Lorin Marra doesn’t comment on any of the many facts and figures given in the “Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest” article but hones in only on the name “Marra,” which is mentioned in only the most neutral of terms: strictly factually. But, as we state in our response, “Where there’s smoke (or “defensiveness”) there’s gotta be fire.” What do you think?

Marra’s Campaign Sign
flanking those of opponents Simmons and Lockridge.

For those of you who have read our article “Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office,” you’ll certainly have to ask yourself Why? is Lorin Marra so upset. Have we touched a nerve? The fact is, Paul Marra is barely mentioned in the article, and not negatively in any sense of the word. Maybe one of our readers can help us out with this one. We’re republishing Lorin Marra’s confused comment together with our responses. [In the following text “Ed.”: is a note inserted by the Editor]


In reply to Lorin Marra:

We have approved your rant only to illustrate the fact that where a commenter becomes as defensive as you have, there must be something going on that needs further attention. As the saying goes: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

We’d like to make it quite clear from the outset that the article is not about Paul Marra nor about the Marra Funeral Home operation; the article is about the office of the coroner both in Albany County and in general. Mr Marra is mentioned, along with others, in the article because he has voluntarily stepped forward and has received the approval and support of the Albany county Democrats and their political machine to have been elected to be an Albany County Coroner. Mr Marra, his office, his associations, and his keepers, therefore, have made Mr Marra a public figure and that visibility is open to comment. Mr Marra, his interests, his associations, his performance and all other aspects of Mr Marra are subject to comment because of his status as a public figure. Period.

Lorin Marra writes:

This article is completely false…

We Responded:

That having been said, we can respond to your diatribe by saying that the information we provided in the article came either from official sources and based on what those sources, that is, the Office of the Albany County Coroner, provided in response to our demand for documents and information under the NY Public Officers Law. If any of our information were incorrect, it is because it was provided by the custodians of that information as public officers and public employees. So let’s put that part of your comment to rest and redirect your misdirected hissy fit to the proper target: the County of Albany.

You are terribly clouded in your perspective of reality if you represent, as you in fact write in your comment, which, as written is a bit unclear, “[M]ost coroners are in fact funeral directors nor [sic] for a political agenda but…” (the rest of that sentence does not contribute to a better understanding of your rather strained thought process). We do not propose in any way that funeral directors are funeral directors for a political agenda. Where you pulled that one out of is beyond us but if you take the time to actually read the article with your eyes open, you’ll actually see what we’ve written. To deny, particularly in Albany County, that the office of the County Coroner is politically tainted is tantamount to claiming that a 3-dollar bank note is legal currency in the US. How naïve? can you possibly be or How devious? might be a better question.

Lorin Marra writes:

…a coroner does not get paid enough by the state [Ed.: Paul L Marra is an Albany County official but is civil service, and gets his check from NY state. Currently he gets $$20,836 a year.] to actually make a living off of just being a coroner. Most coroners are in fact funeral directors not for a political agenda but because they have the knowledge and experience dealing with the deceased. Marra funeral home is in fact OWNED by Paul Marra.

We Responded:

We don’t give a whit whether Paul Marra “OWNS” (your caps!) Marra Funeral Home. But that confirmation by you certainly bolsters our statements about conflicts of interest.

Lorin Marra writes:

Coroners are NOT allowed to use their position to gain business in their personal funeral homes [Ed.: “Not allowed…” is true; what you seem to glance over is that they DO abuse their positions! It’s a human weakness.] Do you realize how many calls a coroner must go on during their respective shift? If they actually claimed all those funerals [Ed.: They don’t have to claim “all” the funerals, just some.] they would be a multi-millionaire which is not the case for any coroners [Ed.: But may be true for some funeral directors.]. The funeral home business tends to be a hereditary business, most people do not wake up in the morning and decide HEY I’M GOING TO WORK WITH DEAD PEOPLE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, they [Who do?] tend to go into the business because a previous family member has and so on.

We Responded:

We agree, though, that ethically “Coroners are NOT [again your caps!] allowed to use their position to gain business in their personal funeral homes.” What we don’t quite get is your point. Whether they are “allowed” has no practical or real effect on whether they do misuse their positions. One point you seem to have missed [again!] is that they can garner political and professional capital even if they don’s use their own “personal” funeral home. Think about that for a minute and if you don’t get it, please let us know and we’ll walk you through it.

Again, we agree with you that many funeral homes may be what we properly call “family funeral homes,” or funeral homes that stay in a single family’s hands for a couple of generations. That is changing and, if you read our articles with the intent to understand what is actually written rather than what the voices in your head are telling you to see, you will find that we are ardent champions of the family-owned, local funeral home as opposed to the multi-state factory funeral service corporations. But you likely would have missed that point. [Ed.: You may want to see our articles: “Birds of a Feather? Lying down with dogs? The Politics of Funeral Corporations….” and “Bring Out Your Dead! A Monty Python Prophesy“.]

Lorin Marra writes:

The fact that coroners can’t make a living off of just being a coroner (less than $30,000 a year) should prove that this article was a waste of time.

We Responded:

You have failed to disguise your arrogance, though, when you state that “coroners can’t make a living off of just being a coroner” [Oh! Your grammar is painful!] No, I wouldn’t think that they’d be able to do anything by just “being a coronoer,” I’d expect they’d have to actually do something besides just being an anything. But the City of Albany and the County of Albany have literally dozens of “employees” and “appointees” who make good money by just “being” a something and not necessarily doing anything. Besides, many people, perhaps not in your privileged group, have to make a living and even support a family on “less than $30,000 a year”. Get a grip, Lorin, and join the real world. (Your Mercedes is showing!).

Lorin Marra writes:

Also, Paul Marra has been a coroner for 29 years and has been a board cerified medi legal death investigator for over 15 tears. He has take n charge of over 5000 death investigations and attended well over 1000 autopsies. He also has trained for over 600 hours with the State association of County Coroners. [Ed.: Lorin Marra seems to keep better records and statistics than the County of Albany. Wonder where she got her figures?]

We Responded:

Has Paul Marra actually seen what’s behind this door?

The fact that “Paul Marra has been a coroner for 29 years and has been a board-certified medi [sic] legal death investicator for over 15 years” again supports everything we have written in the article you appear to be disputing. While we are struggling to identify what a “board[-]certified medi legal [Ed.: The word Lorin is struggling to get right twice (!) is “medicolegal.” Is she really a Siena graduate?] death investigator” might be, we would like to ask the glaring question that emerges from your statement: If he has been a coroner for 29 years but certified to investigate deaths for only 15 of those 29 years, how many mistakes did he make in the 14 years when he was not “certified?” The fact that he has been a coroner for 29 years, elected every 4 years, simply proves that too little scrutiny goes into the office of coroner and further supports the fact that in Albany County, once you’re in you’re in for life.

You state that Paul Marra has “trained for over 600 with the State [A]ssociation of County Coroners.” We’re not in the least impressed by that statement. Here’s an example: In one summer, a contributor of ours trained in a major hospital for over 500 hours to earn just one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education credit towards his qualifications. I repeat, that was 500 hours in one summer for one credit! We assume that you’re referring to 600 hours for Mr Marra’s training over a number of years. That’s not impressive in the least, especially when you consider the years of training that a real medicolegal death investigator must do to qualify and then the continuing education required just to keep the pathologist’s licence! Please, don’t talk to us about Mr Marra’s paltry training record!

Lorin Marra writes:

Please do your research next time.

We Responded:

The article, dear Lorin, clearly states the facts as provided by official sources, in particular the Albany County Coroner’s Office, and information from public access sources and published articles. Our facts are true, complete and correct, which is more than we can say about your subjective and clearly biased remarks about your relative, Paul Marra.

Furthermore, the professional and scientific literature abounds with one single conspicuous observation: The office of the coroner is obsolete and, since its very beginning in the 12th century, has been political and corrupt. Nothing has changed since then. Furthermore, until very recently, with the deployment of the Electronic Death Registry system in New York State, recordkeeping documenting coroners’ activities and cases was deplorable.

Lorin Marra writes:

Also legislation has just passed that requires coroners to have more training.

We Responded:

The only legislation that we are interested in is legislation to eliminate the office of the coroner and replace it with a competitive system that would employ specially trained medicolegal personnel for death investigations. Those professional death investigators may be assisted by a subordinate assistant with appropriate training. The current coroner system is inadequate, unqualified, ignorant, and obsolete. If that’s not enough reason to eliminate it, please add to that list the fact that it is politically tainted and corrupt.

Lorin Marra writes:

Please do your research next time.

We Responded:

We did extensive research for the article and stand by our facts as written and represented. We do suggest, however, that you be tested for dyslexia as soon as possible by a qualified professional. Your reading comprehension or your cognitive processing appears to be severely impaired.


Coroner’s Office Just as Dead

If you’ve made it this far, you deserve a bit of humor and entertainment. Here’s one of our favorite scenes from Monty Python’s In Search of the Holy Grail. Enjoy!

Obviously, Ms Marra was not interested in the facts and figures we very conscientiously researched and published in our article; instead, she was more interested in demonstrating her inability to read the English language. If her dyslexia is shared by Paul Marra, Albany County Coroner, it’s no wonder that their records and available information is so scanty and incomplete. The fact that Ms Marra came up with figures that the Albany County Coroner’s Office couldn’t produce does shed some light on the fact that either Ms Marra’s figures are phoney or the Albany County Coroner’s Office doesn’t want to share some embarrassing information with the public, or the information is simply unavailable because of the Albany County coroners’ poor record keeping practices. Maybe the answer is “all of the above.”

The fact is, our information is good as 24 karat gold. All of it comes from reliable sources. The fact that Albany County has poor record keeping practices and the County doesn’t consider it important enough to update their software is a problem voters might want to address. The fact that Schenectady County (medical examiner’s office) and Greene County (coroners) dragged their feet for months and only produced a fistful of information or no information at all, or just excuses made by the county attorney, is at the very least a black eye for those counties. The Rensselaer county attorney should be brought up on charges for refusing to provide any information on the Rensselaer County Medical Examiner’s office. If that’s democracy at work and freedom of information…

Make Your Vote Count!
Big Choice! They’re All Dems!!!
Be Informed!

Demand Accountability

P.s. If you’re interested in the current candidates for coroner this time around, don’t be surprised that they’re all Democrats, you can go to the Vote411 site. Click here.

Here’s some additional information on medicolegal death investigators. According to the ABMDI, The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, FAQs page, the medicolegal death investigator doesn’t need any special training or education.

  1. What is a Medicolegal Death Investigator?
    The role of the medicolegal death investigator is to investigate any death that falls under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner or coroner, including all suspicious, violent, unexplained and unexpected deaths. The medicolegal death investigator is responsible for the dead person, whereas the local law enforcement jurisdiction is responsible for the scene. The medicolegal death investigator performs scene investigations emphasizing information developed from the decedent and determines the extent to which further investigation is necessary. Medicolegal death investigators should have a combination of education and skills encompassing areas of medicine and law.
  2. Who can become a Medicolegal Death Investigator?
    There are no formal requirements to become a medicolegal death investigator. Each coroner and medical examiner office has different hiring practices. A medicolegal death investigator must be knowledgeable of local, state and federal laws. In addition, a medicolegal death investigator must be the most medically knowledgeable person at the scene of the crime to determine if further investigation is necessary.
  3. Do I have to have a degree?
    There are no formal educational requirements specifically for medicolegal death investigation. Any degree program dealing with Forensic Science, Natural science, Anthropology, Nursing, or any other medically related field would be useful. There are several established training courses available throughout the country that teach the basic information needed in order to perform a thorough, competent medicolegal death investigation.
  4. How much money will I make as a Medicolegal Death Investigator?
    An investigator’s salary will be determined by the jurisdiction and amount of experience the medicolegal death investigator has. Salaries and benefits vary throughout the United States.

[Source ABMDI FAQ page, http://www.abmdi.org/faq, last accessed on October 9, 2017]

Bottom Line: There are no special education requirements or degree requirements to be a so-called “medicolegal death investigator.” But the fact that “a medicolegal death investigator must be the most medically knowledgeable person at the scene of the crime” is very disturbing because most funeral directors have only a two-year degree in mortuary science, and that degree has very little to do with any “medical knowledge.” Furthermore, a degree in mortuary science or, more accurately, in funeral home operations, is not generally considered a medically related field.

Now doesn’t that information make you feel more comfortable about who is making decisions about a human being’s death at a possible crime scene?

 

Hello. County Coroner? We’ve got a body here.
[Ha, ha, ha!]

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2017 in Abuse of Public Office, Albany, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Coroners Office, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Executive, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Mayor, Arthur Fitch, Babcock Funeral Home, Benjamin Sturges, Bill Loetterle, Bob Freeman, Bring out your dead, Bureau of Funeral Directing, Capital District, Charles Smoot, Conflict of Interest, County & Municipal Employees, County Legislator, Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, Death, Death Awareness, Death care, Death Certificate, Death Education, Death Investigation, Deathcare, Democrap, Democrats, Dick Touchette, Dignity Memorial, Elected Official, Elections and Voting, F.O.I.L., Favoritism, Francis Simmons, Frank Commisso, Frank Simmons, Freedom of Information Law, Funeral, Funeral Home, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County Coroner, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Sheriff, Hudson Valley, Human Service, Hypocrisy, Investigation, Jack Flynn, James Cavanaugh, Joe Stanzione, Joseph Stanzione, Kristin Gillibrand, Lorin Marra, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Marra Funeral Home, McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home, Monitoring, Nepotism, New York State Funeral Directors Association, Newcomer Funeral Home, Newcomer Funeral Services Group, Newcomer Funerals and Cremations, Nicholas J. Facci, Nick Facci, Nick Facci Facebook, NYSDOH, NYSFDA, Office of the Professions, Paul Marra, Professional Ethics, Public Office, Rahmar Lockeridge, Ren Newcomer, Rennselaer County Attorney, Rensselaer County, Rensselaer County Medical Examiner, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Robert J. Freeman, Schenectady County, Schenectady County Medical Examiner, Service Corporation International, Shame On You, Transparency, William Loetterle

 

Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office

From its Very Beginnings, the Office of the Coroner was Tainted by Politics, Greed and Corruption.

The office of the coroner has existed for about 800 years and began in England, in the 12th century (1194) when the office of the “crowner” was created to investigate suspected felony deaths. Then, as now, there was government interest in such deaths and it wasn’t justice or public health. You see, the coroner, if he found that the death was due to a felony, would then investigate and confiscate the felon’s property, which went to the crown. Of course the coroner would get a cut of the goods, too. So, from its very beginnings, the office of the coroner was tainted by politics, greed and corruption. Add to this toxic mix the Democrat political machine in Albany, and it can’t get much worse.


Three out of the four incumbent coroners are Guess what? funeral directors actively practicing in the Albany County region. Charles Smoot, the de rigueur token African American at the Albany County Coroner’s office, and one coroner the others would like to get rid of for a number of reasons, John Keegan, and Paul Marra are funeral directors and work as coroners. There’s a conflict of interest here because the coroner has to call a funeral director or funeral home to take custody of the body after the investigation. If you were in the business, who would you call?

Timothy Cavenaugh owes his claim to the coroner’s office to his political connections and to the fact that his father, James Cavenaugh, was Albany County Coroner before him. It appears that the Albany County coroner is not only political, it’s hereditary.

You’ve all seen the Newcomer Cryptkeeper ads on TV.

It does get worse, though, and here’s how: One of the contenders for the elected position is Frank Simmons, another funeral director, who — according to the recent Albany Times Union report —  works for Guess who? Newcomer Funerals and Cremations in Albany. Yes, that’s the same nickel-and-diming, factory funeral provider that’s part of the Newcomer Funeral Services Group, the funeral home chain that operates in some 10 states. Newcomer just opened a new location in Latham and it seems they need more bodies so why not run for coroner? Does anyone see the plan, the agenda, the potential for corruption and conflicts of interest in this coroner system as it operates in Albany County? (The Holubs dumpster-diving moghuls of the Ghettochopper, that is, Pricechopper fame have bought a share of Albany government; now it’s Newcomer Funerals and Cremations who what their share of the local action?)


Editor’s Note:

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read our articles on Newcomer Funerals and Cremations, Service Corporation International (a.k.a. Dignity Memorial), and StoneMor, please see our articles at:


In a 2010 article published in the Times Union  (Coroner saw much in his decades on job, Times Union, November 24, 2010) reported on an Albany County Coroner, Bill Loetterle (now deceased, see his obituary), in which Loetterle describes some of his experiences, and provides some insights into the operations of the coroner’s position in Albany County. He describes how in one case he was ready to call a murder, the police stepped in and overruled him calling it a suicide. Sends up red flags already. He describes serious mistakes being made in the coroner’s office like getting names wrong for the bodies in their custody. In that article, Dr Jeffrey Hubbard, a pathologist working with the Albany County Coroners Office is quoted as saying “the coroners office doesn’t have the answers and doesn’t know when they are going to come about. They are waiting for the pathologist, or pathology lab or for the police.” Makes you wonder why there’s a coroners office in the first place.

Then why have the extra level, the coroners, if they don’t have the answers and have to rely on the pathologist or the police? The County of Albany is already paying the pathologists and the police are already on the payroll. Sounds political and corrupt to us.

You might go back to Loetterle’s tale about the homicide called suicide by the police, overruling the opinion of the coroner. Do you really think that isn’t possible given the fact that the politics in Albany County run law enforcement and the coroners office? Better think again!

Former Albany County Coroner William Loetterle was a Purchasing Agent at GE

So, Loetterle (A Democrat, of course!) came on board as an appointed part-time coroner in 1979 and stayed on the job until 2010, 30 years! Loetterle worked for GE as a purchasing agent. That’s the qualification of the guy who’s going to determine the circumstances of a suspicious or unattended death, whether on the street or in the hospital, and sign the death certificate. It’s no wonder that death statistics are so screwed up!

In the TU 2010 article, though, Mr Loetterle, if you don’t believe he was part of the machine, totally unqualified and just outright ignorant, we read that in his “educated” opinion, “having coroners is better than having medical examiners because it’s much less costly for the taxpayers.” We’ve done a thorough study of the coroner and ME system and we know that that statement is categorically untrue and incorrect, as we’ll point out below.

Albany County Coroners are so good that they actually sent a woman who was still alive to the morgue!

The coroner is poorly trained and doesn’t have the necessary education to do the job

Furthermore, the office of coroner is for all practical purposes antiquated and obsolete. Moreover, it’s more costly to taxpayers because it actually duplicates effort and costs, and is actually detrimental to the public health efforts and programs at state and federal level because the coroner is poorly trained and doesn’t have the necessary education to do the job. That and the fact that it’s an elected position and only those candidates that get local political party approval get on the ballot.


Incompetence goes viral….

In a New York Times article, the writer refers to the coroners office as a “relic.” The article goes on to describe how an elderly woman was found in her apartment in an Albany complex for the elderly:

The old woman was sprawled on her living room floor, cold and motionless, and the apartment manager who found her on Wednesday was sure she was gone. Paramedics and the Albany County Coroner… found no heartbeat, no pulse, no breath or other signs of life, and the [Albany] coroner declared her officially dead.

They zipped Mildred C. Clarke, 86, into a body bag, took her to the morgue at the Albany Medical Center Hospital and left her in a room where corpses are kept at 40 degrees, pending autopsies or funerals. About 90 minutes later, the chief morgue attendant went in to transfer her to a funeral home.  (NYTimes

Albany paramedics and an Albany County coroner declare the woman dead, transfer her to Albany Medical Center, and no one there has any interest in confirming she’s dead or alive, and she gets put into a refrigerator where she stays until a morgue attendant notices the body bag moving. Something out of a horror flick? Hell, NO! It’s Albany County and Albany Medical Center at work!

Lucky she wasn’t an organ donor! But according to a NYT follow-up report Mrs Clark later died a week later at Albany Medical Center of ‘undisclosed causes,’ according to an Albany Medical Center spokesperson. (NYTimes)

William X Kienzle even includes the incident in his book, Requiem for Moses  (Kienzle, William X. Requiem for Moses. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Pub, 2013). That’s how Albany County gets on the map, we suppose.


So that brings us to another Times Union article published just recently, on May 23, 2017, entitled “Albany coroners race could have Democratic Primary. Democratic nominees face 4 others in Albany County” The reporter writes, “following a long, often contentious and disorganized Albany County Democratic Committee meeting…two incumbent coroners secured the Democratic nomination” for the coroner posts up for re-election. Four others were also endorsed by the Democrats. Can it get any more political?

Of course, the Albany County Democratic Committee chairman, Jack Flynn, would not comment on the strong interest in the coroner post but we will.

Albany County: No politics. No power. No patronage. No way!

A couple of years ago, Albany County considered changing over to the medical examiner system where a licensed and specially trained physician would do the death investigations (“Charter panel weighs coroner’s role,” Times Union, April 29, 2013). That article describes the Albany County Charter Committee as “11-member panel will tread lightly around the perception that it’s bent on curtailing anyone’s power.” Power. Not the public’s interests or welfare but power. The article is otherwise uninformative beyond confirming the corruption of the Albany Democratic machine and the infighting.

Somehow Albany has managed to misinform and keep the electorate ignorant and County Executive McCoy, Democratic Committee chairman Flynn, Majority Leader Frank Commisso (majority leader since 1993!), and certainly not the coroners or their highly-paid local pathologists or Albany Medical Center, whose facilities the Albany County Coroners Office uses for storing bodies and for forensic examinations. They all have an interest in keeping the obsolete and antiquated Albany County Coroners Office in place despite good evidence that it should be dumped and replaced by a medical examiner system. But no politics, no power, no patronage? No way!

This wouldn’t be a political position and would be governed by the professional ethics and oversight agencies that watchdog physician’s activities. But that wouldn’t be something the Albany Democrats would be interested in, would it? No politics. No power. No patrons. No way!

We should mention here that both Schenectady and Rensselaer Counties, as well as the majority of the rest of the country, especially those more advanced locales, have opted for the medical examiner system over and against the coroner system. There are many good reasons for this and we’ll be discussing them in future parts of this series of articles. The unfounded opinion of some supporters of the Albany County Coroners Office that the coroner system is less expensive to tax payers are misinformed and make no sense. The coroner system is in most studies of the system found to be incompetent, inefficient, expensive, and detrimental to the public’s health. Too many unqualified or politically ambitious people tend to seek these offices and should take their egos on a vacation. Coroners, at least the Albany County Coroners, have another agenda, as we’ll point out below.

But in the old days, local docs could be found who would sell their signature for a Tootsie Roll., and we have evidence of one physician, now deceased, who assisted the Office of the Albany County Coroner by signing death certificates for a fee-per-signature; he was actually selling his signature for a fee, and didn’t give a damn what was on the DC. His cause of death was always ASD, heart disease! If you examine the death certificates he signed you’ll find he certified almost every single death inappropriately using an abbreviation (more on this later), ASD, “arteriosclerotic disease”, making the false impression that almost every death investigated by the Office of the Coroner was due to heart disease. Think of what that could mean to national statistics on death due to heart disease if such corruption is widespread! It is. And published studies prove that fact. Scientific, peer-reviewed studies show that heart disease as a cause of death was a highly reported fake cause of death. It was over-reported by ignorant people completing death certificates with no qualifications, or who didn’t really care what the cause of death was, so cardiac death was an easy way out.  Frequently still is.

Investigating Deaths with Almost No Qualifications!

Studies also show that coroners and many physicians do not know how to properly complete a death certificate. And many physicians don’t know when they are legally authorized to sign a death certificate, frequently giving an incorrect cause of death. If physicians can make those blunders think of the damage an untrained, poorly educated coroner like Bill Loetterle, Charles Smoot and others like them can do!

The On-call coroner Frequently Doesn’t Even Go to the Scene but Completes and Signs a Death Certificate

If it works for one, it’ll work for many. This scandalous practice continues to be the case. We have received information from the Albany County Coroner’s office that when a call reporting a death is made to the Office of the Albany County Coroner, the coroner goes directly to the scene of the death, investigates, makes his report, and, depending on his findings, completes the death certificate and signs it. That’s what the coroner’s office tells us.  What we have learned from some professionals who work with the Albany County Coroner’s Office is that the on-call coroner frequently doesn’t even go to the scene but completes and signs a death certificate. Incredible? Maybe, but really quite likely knowing how Albany County operates.

Now let’s have a closer look at Albany County before we proceed with a more detailed discussion of what MEs and coroners are required to do and how it affects us as individuals, and as a state and nation. Albany has been a Democrat party stronghold literally for generations, and the Party has a stranglehold on public office. Most of the institutions in the City of Albany and Albany County are controlled by the local Democrats who have established a powerful system of patronage: If you’re not a Democrat and a log-roller, or you don’t know someone in City Hall, you simply don’t get a job or you don’t get elected. It’s a simple but corrupt system to say the least. Qualifications or credentials may play a role but it’s really who you know, not what you know. So it’s no big surprise to note that all of the Albany County Coroners, all elected officials, are all Democrats.

You may also find it interesting to know that two of the four coroners are licensed funeral directors running local funeral homes, Paul Marra of Marra Funeral Home (Cohoes), and John Keegan of Magin & Keegan Funeral Home (Albany). One of the coroners, Charles Smoot, claims to be a licensed funeral director, and if he is he must be doing behind the scenes work – so-called “trade” work — for other funeral homes; no one seems to know where he works but the Albany County Coroner’s office confirms that he is a licensed funeral director. Informants in the funeral services business in Albany tell us they never see him at any continuing education events, a requirement for funeral directors and for coroners. So Smoot, as we have mentioned, may be just a fixture in the Coroners Office, the token, but even so, he’s not popular in the Albany County Coroners Office. They’ve been trying to get rid of him for some time now, we hear. We also have information that alleged funeral director-coroner Charles Smoot has close connections with Anthony Perniciaro of the McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home (Troy) so guess who’s likely to get Smoot’s bodies.

How Public Office is Inherited in Albany County

The fourth Albany County coroner is Timothy Cavanaugh is a good example of how positions in the Albany Democrat machine get handed out, or in Cavanaugh’s case, handed down. Timothy is the son of a former, now dead, Albany County coroner, James Cavanaugh. The Cavanaugh dynasty is an example of how public office is inherited in Albany County. The same is true of one other coroner, Paul Marra, son of former coroner John Marra, also of Marra funeral Home in Cohoes. See the patterns? We’d also like to note that Paul Marra and John Keegan are not listed as owners on their respective funeral home web pages. We find that rather questionable, since we feel that those web pages should list the owners’ names or at least let the visitor know who is running the show. Or is does this have more sinister implications related to the owner’s holding a public elected office and possible conflicts of interest. You know, of course, that the coroners have to contact a licensed funeral home to transfer and take custody of the body once the investigation is completed.

Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Cohoes

So we found it a bit suspicious when we asked about funeral homes used by the coroners, the Albany County Coroner’s Office could provide no information on which funeral homes the coroner’s tend to use for transferring the deceased. Three coroners who are funeral directors, two of whom own funeral homes, and one of which claims to be a licensed funeral director with close connections with a Troy funeral home. Now there couldn’t be any conflict or interest or abuse of public office here, could there? Not in Albany County?

And it does get even worse…

John Keegan not only co-owns and operates Capital District Affordable Cremations LLC in Albany, New York, Anthony Pernicaro of McLoughlan and Mason Funeral Home, Troy, is also one of the co-owners. That’s the same Anthony Pernicaro and the same McLoughlan and Mason Funeral Home we connected with Albany County Coroner Charles Smoot! Insider information received from local funeral home operators indicates that the three Albany County Coroner/Funeral Directors are abusing their positions to steer business to their own funeral homes and their other businesses.

Given the importance of ethics and integrity in public office and the adverse effect on health statistics information collected by death investigators like coroners, you’d think recordkeeping would be a high-priority item on the list of coroner administrative requirements; after all, it’s the office that is required to collect information and report it on such a serious occurrence such as a death. Well, recordkeeping is not really a very high priority in the Albany County Office of Coroners.

Here are just a couple of deficiencies we found in our investigation:

First of all, we place great value on documentation and fact-finding. This requires a system and it also requires a knowledge of how information and data collection affect other departments, programs and even government agencies. Apparently, the Albany County Coroners Office got left in the 1300s, while other locales changed over to the medical examiner system or at least developed data collection forms that reflect the importance of the death investigation data collected during the coroner call.

If anything clearly demonstrates the substandard workings of the Albany County Coroners Office, it’s the form used for documenting the death investigation. Here’s an Albany County Coroners Call Sheet used to document the facts of the scene investigation. Compare it to this one from Indiana (+coroners general death investigation protocol_indiana)or even this simplified one from Cleveland (+Coroner-Call Sheet (Cleveland Ohio)). But our investigation found even more substandard practices in the Albany County Coroners Office. Here are just a few:

  • No up-to-date or upgraded software for entering and administering information collected by coroners (A key employee of the Albany coroners’ office tells us that the software they are using dates back to the 1980’s and has not been updated; the office can’t do queries or generate reports from the software. What’s up with this, Albany County?) (Per information received from the Coroners Office, “The computer system used by The Albany County Coroner’s Office is an internal spread sheet that has been created for our use. All records are also kept as paper copy within the Albany County Hall of Records.”)
  • No way to determine which coroner had which case and when (Wouldn’t that be of interest when you consider almost 1000 coroner calls in 2015 and more than 900 coroner calls in 2016?)
  • No way to report cases that were closed without autopsy and those that went to autopsy
  • No way to determine which coroner used which funeral home to transfer the body Now that’s convenient, isn’t it, considering that three of the coroners are funeral directors, two of whom own funeral homes, and one of whom allegedly has a close connection with a Troy funeral home?)
  • An unacceptable delay in getting autopsy reports: up to 90 days! When cases go to autopsy, there is a significant delay in getting the autopsy reports from the medicolegal/forensic pathologist (the Albany coroners office has four pathologists on call Drs Hubbard, Sikirica, Balasubramaniam (“Dr Bala”), and a Dr Ing, and one physician assisting the coroners, a Dr John Len). So why the delay in the autopsy reports and the consequent delay in closing the case?
  • Apparently there is no way for the coroners office to report which cases are pending closure and which are closed.
  • Cases are not tabulated by coroner; they are tabulated only as a total The Albany County Office of Coroners is unable to list dates of coroner’s calls with a corresponding coroner’s name, location, funeral home, or case closing date. We find this to be gross dereliction of responsibilities!
  • The Albany County Office of Coroners does not keep a list of funeral homes used by the coroners. We don’t wonder Why? Do you?
  • Contrary to personal informal reports we have received, and which resulted in our interest in this topic, the Albany County Office of Coroners tells us that they have received no complaints regarding the performance of their coroners. (Per the Coroner’s Office, “As stated above any complaints against The Albany County Coroners would go through The Albany County Board of Legislators. In checking with them on this matter, no complaints have been filed against this office.” Do you wonder?)

Although the coroners have no medical training, and can be elected from any status in the general public, as long as they can get on the ballot. According to statute coroners must participate in a minimal death investigation course. The Albany County Office of Coroners reports that “all” county coroners receive annual training through the

  • New York State Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners (NYSACME)
  • The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigation
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and
  • Funeral Director CEU (continuing education units).

We note that the Albany County Office of Coroners response clearly reads “[a]ll of our coroners receive yearly training through those organizations. Does “all” mean all as in every, each? If it does we have some questions. One of those questions arise because we have personal communications from funeral professionals who state that they don’t see Charles Smoot at any of the funeral director continuing education events (CEU). Where is he getting his continuing training? Who’s paying for it? The answer to the first question is: Nobody knows. The answer to the second question is: We are.

Given the inadequate documentation, and without some documentation of a coroner’s whereabouts at a particular time a coroner’s case is called in and a death investigation is supposedly being done it will be very difficult if not impossible, to defend against any claims that the coroners are not attending at the death scene but are signing death certificates without due and diligent investigation. This is a serious issue and must be responded to and dealt with. We now publicly submit this question to the Albany County Office of Coroners and demand a response.

Here’s what the Albany County Budget for 2017 lists for the Albany County Coroners Office:

 Albany County Coroners Office Personnel Count

2015 2016 2017
A 1185 Personnel Count 6 6 6
A1185 Coroner $725,824 $733,039 $733,239
2014 2015 2016
A 1185 Personnel Count 6 6 6
A1185 Coroner $693,504 $727,294 $728,729

So the budget figures don’t lie but they also don’t tell the whole story. So we filed several demands for production of documents and information under the New York State Public Officers Law or the Freedom of Information Law. All criticisms aside, we have to give credit where credit is due: The clerk / administrator and confidential secretary at the Albany County Coroners Office have been very helpful and forthcoming, and we hope honest — in providing information in response to our demands. Unfortunately, much of what they provided does not speak in favor of the coroners office:

Albany Medical Center Propaganda

In 2015, Albany Medical Center performed all of 222 autopsies for the Albany County coroners. In 2016 , Albany Medical Center again performed a majority of our 230 autopsies for Albany County. Ellis Hospital began a contract with Albany County at this time but, according to the Coroners Office “a breakdown of these numbers is not possible with out going through each case by hand.” This is the 21st century, people! Everyone has computer software for keeping these sorts of records! Why doesn’t Albany County?

Albany County does not bill for out-of-county residence. If a person dies within Albany County, Albany County picks up the cost of Coroner involvement, pursuant to New York State Law. According to a Times Union report these costs totaled nearly $113,000 from January 2012 to August 2013 (“The dead’s tab: $61,426. When a patient flown to Albany Med dies, Albany County pays for the autopsy.” Times Union, November 25, 2014). During that same period the $61,426 for 56 outside cases in 2012 accounted for about 10 percent of the coroner’s overall $603,000 2013 budget. .But they can and should bill the cost back to the county of residence.

As mentioned above, the Albany County Coroners Office uses outside pathologists: Jeffrey Hubbard MD, Michael Sikirica MD, and Nadarajah Balasubramaniam MD a.k.a. Dr Bala. We demanded information regarding the costs of pathologist services and the Coroners Office provided these figures:

Pathology rates per patient:
Autopsy 770.00
Certification of Death 75.00
Review of records/exam/Certification 360.00

 

Amounts Paid to Pathologists
Per year
2015
Dr. Hubbard $46,980.00
Forensic Medical Services
Drs Sikirica and Balasubramaniam
$138,075.00
2016
Dr. Hubbard $68,125.00
Forensic Medical Services
Drs Sikirica and Balasubramaniam
$146,725.00

Albany Medical Center Autopsy Room

In addition to the three pathologists, John Len MD is a so-called physician assisting the coroners. Len was paid $3,350.00 in 2015, and $11,285.00 in 2016 for “assisting” Albany County coroners. Len, in other words, sells his signature to certify deaths when there is no personal physician.

Albany Medical Center has been the Albany County Coroners Office’s primary autopsy and lab and facility for the years 2015 and 2016. Ellis Hospital (Schenectady) began a contract with Albany County at the end of 2016, it is on a trial basis continuing through 2017.

Amount Paid to Albany Medical Center (Autopsy Services)
2015
Albany Medical Center $198,890.94
2016
Albany Medical Center $189,532.98
Ellis Hospital $6,550.00

Additional Laboratory Testing Services: In 2015 and 2016 National Medical and Bender Laboratories were used for additional toxicology services.

2016
National Medical $7,242.00
Bender Laboratories $27,500.00
2015
National Medical $13,881.66
Bender Laboratories $1770.00

We have demanded this same information from the Schenectady and Rensselaer Medical Examiner Offices and from the Greene County Office of the Coroner. As of this writing, their responses are still outstanding. Once we receive that information, we will publish a comparison of the systems.

Literally thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of deaths in Albany County are in a limbo land thanks to the decrepit and irresponsible administration of coroner records in the Albany County Coroners Office

Whereas the New York State Department of Health (NYDOH) has implemented an Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) in a number of counties in New York State,  implementation of the system in 2017 does not alter the fact that substandard recordkeeping in the Albany County Coroners Office has prevented any attempt at quality control or even retrieval of important data for administrative, study or research purposes. This means that information on literally thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of deaths in Albany County are in a limbo land thanks to the decrepit and irresponsible administration of coroner records in the Albany County Coroners Office.

It’s too little too late for many and we really have to ask the burning question, “Who dropped the ball for so many years?”

It’s the 21st century and it was a long time in finally coming but is still not fully implemented throughout the state, New York State’s Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) in a secure web-based system for electronically registering deaths. EDRS simplifies the data collection process and enhances communication between health care providers and medical certifiers, medical examiners/coroners, funeral directors, and local registrars as they work together to register deaths. That having been said, it’s too little too late for many and we really have to ask the burning question, “Who dropped the ball for so many years?”

For now, though, Albany County Residents and our readers far and wide can draw their own conclusions about Albany County and it’s questionable rationale in keeping the obsolete, inefficient, and antiquated Albany County Coroners Office, apart from the obvious corrupt and self-serving political, power, patronage and economic interests involved.

We’d like to invite you to share your experiences of the coroner and medical examiner system with us. We’ll share them with our readers to enable them to be better informed and to improve their public health systems.

It’s time to do a forensic autopsy on Albany County and the Albany County Coroners Office!

Time to Autopsy the
Albany County Coroners Office
The Editor


Editor’s Note

The Albany Times Union reported that Mr Frank Simmons, one of the controversial candidates for Albany County Coroner, is an employee of Newcomer Funerals and Cremations: “Simmons, a funeral home director at New Comer Funerals and Cremations, intend[s] to petition to be on the ballot for the Democratic primary in September.” We have received information from a reliable source and in the funeral service business that Simmons is not employed by Newcomer but by the John J. Sandvidge Funeral Home, Troy. We are looking into this information and have notified Ms Amanda Fries, author of the Times Union article.


 

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Abuse of Public Office, Albany, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Coroners Office, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Elections, Albany County Executive, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Police, Anthony Perniciaro, Arthur Fitch, Bill Loetterle, Bring out your dead, Bureau of Funeral Directing, Capital District, Charles Smoot, Conflict of Interest, Corruption, County Legislator, Craig D. Apple Sr., Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, Democratic Party Committee, Dignity Memorial, EDRS, Elected Official, Electronic Death Registration System, Favoritism, Frank Commisso, Frank Simmons, Freedom of Information Law, Greene County, Greene County Coroner, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Sheriff, Hudson Valley, Jack Flynn, James Cavanaugh, Jeffrey Hubbard, John Keegan, John Len, Law Enforcement, Licensed Funeral Director, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Marra Funeral Home, McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home, Michael Sikirica, Nadarajah Balasubramaniam, National Funeral Directors Association, New York State, New York State Funeral Directors Association, Newcomer Funeral Home, Newcomer Funeral Services Group, Newcomer Funerals and Cremations, Nick Facci, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, P. David Soares, Paul Marra, Public Corruption, Rensselaer County Medical Examiner, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Schenectady County Medical Examiner, SCI, Service Corporation International, StoneMor, Timmothy Cavanaugh, Uncategorized, William Loetterle