New Allegations of Sheriff Moore’s Interference, and Missing Body Parts

Coming From Family Member of Wrongful Death Settlment

12-08-2017

steve moore

FROM 209TIMES

Much has been written about the July 8, 2009 alleged “public intoxication” arrest, and the July 12, 2009 discovered body of Jeremy Lum. Never until today, has it been publicly released that an independent autopsy revealed internal organs were missing from Jeremy Lum’s cadaver.

Jeremy Lum was a 29 year old that was booked by San Joaquin County Deputies on July 9, 2009 for public intoxication and then released several hours later. He was found 7/12/2009 in the San Joaquin River, approximately 100 yards south of 9386 South Roberts Road.

Jeremy was described as an excellent athlete, UC Berkeley graduate, and a nursing student. Jeremy also had been recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

At the time of his disappearance, the family questioned whether Jeremy was “drunk” or not, and wondered why someone in Jeremy’s mental condition was released with or without shoes and no successful family notification; two of many issues that the Sheriff’s Office partially disputes.

Throughout the years, the Lum family has tried to always remain respectful while constructively being critical of the San Joaquin County’s Sheriff handling of people with bipolar disorders and other mental illnesses. Someone close to the Lum Family who asked to remain anonymous said the family’s goal has always been to educate, as opposed to just pointing fingers.

In January of 2016, the county conceded to a $1.575 million wrongful-death settlement, believed to be the county’s biggest ever. In the county’s typical “Circle the Wagons” fashion, there was no comment by any of the board members. County counsel later issued a statement denying any wrongdoing on the part of the county. County Counsel’s J. Mark Myles, who didn’t actually work on the case, callously explained that the decision to settle was purely a fiscal decision.

A review of the facts by 209 Times now reveals that the Lum family, who are known in Lathrop for being quietly philanthropic, appeared to have been rather easy on the county.

A review of depositions from the civil case revealed numerous “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” to a multitude of obviously basic questions. At one point the Lum Family Attorney asked a San Joaquin County Correctional Officer “You would not have written anything that is false would you?”

The officer’s answer: “Um, I don’t know. I don’t remember.”

Video tapes conclusively revealed this same correctional officer did in fact write false entries in an inmate observation log. The Sheriff’s alleged timelines and observation logs simply could not be reconciled with known facts. At least two nurses also made statements that could not be reconciled with known facts.

Sheriff Moore’s alleged interference in a conversation between Jeremy Lum’s father and Dr. Omalu was regarding a medical question that would fall under the legal term “cause of death” is of grave concern.

Due to 209 Times’ extensive network, we have been able to secure a copy of Jeremy Lum’s coroner’s report (2009-1325) and Dr Omalu’s autopsy report (A09-1325). This first autopsy was performed on July 13, 2009.

On page 10 of 14, Dr Omalu writes that “the spleen weighs 160 grams and is friable”. A toxicology report conducted by Central Valley Toxicology is included in the report.

Dr Omalu concludes that Jeremy Lum died as result of asphyxiation due to drowning due to Acute Combined Amphetamine and Orphenadrine Toxicity.

We also obtained a copy of a second autopsy that was performed by Dr. David M. Posey, (totally independent of Sheriff Steve Moore’s hierarchical structure) on July 16, 2009 at PL Frye and Sons Funeral Home in Manteca. This autopsy was ordered by the decedent’s father.

During this second independent autopsy, it was noted “the organs of the body cavities have been previously removed and are found in a plastic bag in the torso.” It should be noted this a normal and accepted practice.

According to Dr. Posey’s autopsy, the following organs, including the spleen, were “not found”:

Larynx

Proximal trachea

Spleen

Lymph nodes

Thymus

Urinary bladder

Prostate gland

Tongue

Vermiform appendix

Pituitary

Thyroid gland

Parathyroid gland

Adrenal glands

No second toxicology analysis was ordered as “no specimens taken because there are no remaining body or cavity fluids.”

Dr. Posey concluded under “CAUSE OF DEATH” that “based on these autopsy findings and the limited historical and clinical information available to me, in my opinion, Jeremy James Gong Lum, a 29 year old gentleman, died as a result of an acute psychotic episode (bipolar breakdown) complicated by methylenedioxymethamphetamine intoxication and asphyxia due to fresh water drowning.” Dr. Posey concluded the “MANNER OF DEATH” was undetermined.

Note:

No one on the 209 Times editorial board, including yours truly, has the expertise to fully comprehend autopsy reports. We therefore withhold judgment about the significance of any differences between Dr Omalu’s autopsy and Dr. Posey’s.

In speaking with a pathologist off the record, we learned that sometimes internal organs are thrown away during an autopsy procedure, and that generally speaking this action in and of itself does not necessarily constitute a cover-up. That said, some of the body parts missing in this autopsy is disconcerting to the experts we spoken with. One Bay Area pathologist we spoke to off the record agreed it is unfortunate that Sheriff Moore choose to prevent Dr. Omalu from answering a family member’s medical question. “This kind of unprofessional behavior can create reasonable doubt and suspicion in the minds of grieving family members.”

Based on Sheriff Moore’s long track record of highly questionable and sometimes verifiably criminal behavior such as in GunGate, 209 Times’ editorial team fully stands by Justice for Jeremy’s suggestion that the Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office be totally separated.

Dr. Omalu is now publicly alleging that Sheriff Moore “was using his political office to protect police officers whenever somebody died in custody or during arrest”. The world famous Dr. Omalu and Dr. Parson offer numerous detailed examples that support this bombastic claim.

It is a fact that Jeremy Lum died shortly after being released from the San Joaquin County jail’s custody. As to what else is factual may prove impossible for this loving and still grieving family to ever know.

Since this story was originally submitted to 209 Times for publication, both Dr. Omalu and Dr. Parson have reported in documents (totally unrelated to the Lum case) that sheriff staff have been known for cutting body parts off (specifically hands) of cadavers without a medical doctor’s consent or even basic documentation. They have further alleged malfeasance on part of the Sheriff in at least two drowning deaths, again, neither of which appear to have anything to do with the Lum case.

Letter from Jeremy’s aunt:

Mr. Frank Gayaldo,

The recent allegations against Sheriff Steve Moore being made by Forensic Pathologst Dr. Sue Parson are of particular interest to me. Her allegations that Sheriff Steve Moore inappropriately interfered with hers & Dr. Omalu’s cases does not come as a surprise. I know of Dr. Omalu and his work and hold him in high regard. However, in 2009, when my nephew’s, Jeremy Lum, body arrived at the funeral home missing body parts and bodily fluids, it was alarming. This undoubtedly impacted the ability to perform a full and complete autopsy by our own hired Forensic Pathologist. I am also not surprised to see that this has been a pattern of behavior in other missing persons cases for the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Dept/Coroner’s Office.

It has taken many years to come to terms with the shoddy and inhumane treatment our family received from the SJC Sheriff’s Dept when Jeremy went missing. We weren’t asking for anything more from Lathrop Police Services, aka San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Dept, than any other family with a missing loved one. What I’ve come to learn and realize is that there exists a hierarchy/chain of command within this agency and I can only surmise that Sheriff Steve Moore gave the command to Lathrop Police Services personnel to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to our family’s pleas for help..They even discouraged local television media from airing our story during the time Jeremy was missing by not giving confirmation. (Once Jeremy’s body was discovered and recovered from the river, TV crews arrived on their own, of course) .

In following the news of Dr. Parson’s allegations and subsequent resignation, I learned of the fiscal reasons that the Coroner’s Office & Sheriff’s Dept are one entity. It puzzles me, though, that a Sheriff who has no medical experience or degree would be able to influence the work performed by a Forensic Pathologist doctor. To the extent that in an interview with Dr. Omalu, Sheriff Moore was able to direct the line of questioning as to what questions he could address. When Jerry, Jeremy’s father, asked a question of Dr. Omalu, Sheriff Moore did not allow Dr. Omalu to address it. Jerry was never able to get an answer to his question at this meeting.

As painful as it’s been to discuss Jeremy’s death again, I have hopes that other families going through this will find some comfort in knowing they aren’t alone. It’s hard to find closure in the loss of a loved one but even more so when there are questions, purposely or not, left answered.

I’m not comfortable to communicate with San Joaquin County or the media at this time, however, if you feel this email serves a purpose being publicly shared, you have my permission to do so.

Regards,

Connie Lum

Justice For Jeremy

Advertisements

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY SHERIFF STEVE MOORE FORCES WORLD CLASS PATHOLOGIST TO RESIGN…….

DR. BENNET OMALU SUBMITS LETTER OF RESIGNATION

By Marty Carlson

12-06-2017


DR. BENNET OMALU

As you all know there is been an ongoing issue in San Joaquin County with the forensic pathologists in the coroner’s office of San Joaquin county Sheriff’s Department. Last week Dr. Susan Parsons resigned citing her inability to work the pressures of micromanagement and intimidation tactics by Sheriff Steve Moore.

This week highly regarded forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, who is known for the movie concussion, played by Will Smith, resigned citing the same issues with the Sheriff and San Joaquin County.

He states in his resignation there has been an ongoing practice in San Joaquin County that he has found unacceptable, and is unable to continue working under those conditions and the pressures put under them by Sheriff Steve Moore.

Below is the resignation of Dr. Omalu.

Sadly, San Joaquin County and one of the premier forensic pathologists in the world and chose to take a path to not let him do his job as he obviously is so capable of.


Bennet Omalu, MD, MBA, MPH, CPE, DABP-AP,CP,FP,NP bennetomalu@bennetomalu.com

December 5, 2017

Monica Nino

County Administrator

44 North San Joaquin Street

Sixth Floor Suite 640

Stockton, CA 95202

Dear Ms. Nino,

RE: NOTICE OF RESIGNATION FROM SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY

With tears in my eyes and with a very heavy heart, I hereby submit my notice of resignation from San Joaquin County as the County’s forensic pathologist. According to the terms of my contract with our beloved county, I have to give a three month notice of resignation, which shall begin on December 5, 2017 and end with the termination of my employment on March 5, 2018. I must stop performing autopsies on December 5, 2017 in order to have sufficient time to complete and close the over 150 pending and open cases I may have.

When I joined this most lovely county in September 2007, I fell in love with it and gave my utmost best to elevate the standards and quality of practice of forensic pathology and death investigation in the County, which had fallen apart. Today, we have collectively done a wonderful job in turning the trajectory of the Coroner’s Office and providing the best standards of autopsy, pathology and medico-legal services to the good people of the County. I planned to continue to serve the people of this County until my retirement. In the dark and difficult days of 2005 – 2007, while I was living through my CTE quagmire, I was running away from Pittsburgh and felt homeless, hopeless and afraid. This County offered me a home and gave me hope. For this I am deeply grateful, faithful and loyal to you and the good people of San Joaquin County. I will always remain part of you.

On November 27, 2017, my colleague, Dr. Sue Parson, submitted her letter of resignation. In her letter she stated the following:

“Despite the privilege of working with Dr. Omalu, the behavior of San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore and the working environment he created within the Coroner’s Office made my day-to-day experience in the County personally unbearable and professionally unsustainable. Sheriff Moore’s retaliatory behavior, arrogant expectations and of those under his employ, created an utterly untenable work environment – a complete hindrance to my professional growth and development in medicine and the discharging of my duties in a safe, non-threatening work environment, which is due all persons employed by the County under law.

In general terms, Sheriff Moore’s intrusion into physician independence ranges from forcefully taking over physician scheduling to inserting himself into how and when Dr. Omalu and I perform our medical duties with attempts to control and influence our professional judgment and conclusions. This ultimately undermines the overall

competence of the Coroner’s Office in conducting objective death investigation for the County.

Sheriff Moore’s leadership style orders physicians to report, behave, and respond to him like rank-and-file sheriff’s officers, producing an intolerable work environment for medical professionals in any stage of her or his career. Despite the framework Dr. Omalu built to enhance and elevate the quality of medicolegal death investigation for the County, I am certain that he too will be unable to continue to work at the Sheriff-Coroner’s Office under such conditions, resulting in a massive and wholly avoidable loss to the County.”

I must unfortunately stand by and support what Dr. Parson has most succinctly and precisely said. It is extremely unfortunate that it took us over ten years to hire a competent, intelligent and highly qualified forensic pathologist like her, and in less than one year, the Coroner’s Office is forcing her to leave due to highly avoidable and unnecessary issues. The office has no concern or issue with Dr. Parson’s job performance or competence and she served the County extremely well. This is important because there are less than 1000 board-certified forensic pathologists like her in the United States

.

Since I joined the County as a physician employee assigned to the Coroner’s Office, Sheriff Steve Moore has always made calculated attempts to control me as a physician and influence my professional judgement. I first experienced this with Sheriff Steve Moore in 2007 when he prevented me from attending crime scenes, which detectives from police departments of other cities may have wanted me to attend, or scenes I wanted to attend, especially on complicated and/or unusual cases. The standards of practice of pathology require forensic pathologists to attend all types of scenes. I wanted to leave then but I believed this interference would stop the longer I stayed in the office and exhibited the highest and exemplary standards of practice. Unfortunately, it did not stop despite the high level of services I performed. In fact, in the past year or two, and especially since Dr. Parson joined the County, it has gotten even worse.

Recently, I became frigidly afraid that in continuing to work under the circumstances Sheriff Steve Moore has created in his office, that I may be aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine. This would jeopardize my medical license. On many occasions, I met with him privately and provided him written memorandums trying to explain to him that the law does not allow him to insert himself in the duties of a physician unless he is a licensed physician. He dismissed me and stated that Dr. Parson and I work for him, and as long as we were his workers, that we must do anything and everything he asks us to do, even when we considered his actions acting against our standards of practice and the generally accepted principles of medicine. For example, Sheriff Steve Moore decided to cut off the hands of bodies at the morgue after the autopsies had been completed without the knowledge of any of the pathologists in the office.

I recently testified to the truth and scientific facts on a high-profile case involving the County. My testimony was not what the Sheriff wanted me to testify to. Promptly after this occurred, Sheriff Steve Moore retaliated against us and took over the scheduling of physicians in the office in order to control when we work, how we work, what cases we do or not do, and approve or deny our requests for time off or vacation. For the past decade, the physicians in the office handled this scheduling to ensure that the office was fully and properly staffed. Sheriff Steve Moore took this action even though prominent county officials, including leading county physicians, advised him that only a licensed physician can control the working hours of physician employees as required by the guidelines of the Medical Board of California.

I have also witnessed Sheriff Steve Moore humiliate and bully Dr. Parson. Dr. Parson filed a harassment complaint against one of the sergeants in the department. Sheriff Steve Moore summoned a meeting that was supposed to address his effort to take control of the physician’s scheduling. However, Sheriff Steve Moore used the meeting to demonstrate his control over us as physician employees. During the meeting, he flung Dr. Parson’s complaint at her and condescendingly reminded her that she worked for him and he had the final say on every complaint that is submitted in his office. I was stunned. He retaliated and instructed us that he would remove us as physician employees of the San Joaquin General Hospital, to which both Dr. Parson and I are contractually mandated to have staff privileges, and convert us to Sheriff Forensic Pathologists so that we would lose our physician privileges at the hospital. The Union of American Physicians and Dentists [UAPD], which represents all doctors that work for the County, interjected on our behalf and demanded that the Sheriff cease and desist in his threats and retaliatory action. Dr. Parson and I are both members of UAPD like all of the other doctors in the County.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Sheriff has treated us very differently from other County physicians. For years, Sheriff Steve Moore has refused to afford the pathologists in the Coroner’s Office the same benefits and privileges that all other County physicians enjoy. Sheriff Steve Moore withheld and refused to pay Dr. Parson and myself the professional physician benefits to which every physician employee of San Joaquin General Hospital is entitled following a negotiated salary agreement between the UAPD and San Joaquin County in December 2016. While all other County physicians have long been receiving the professional benefits, we unfortunately have been denied the same treatment. In doing so, Sheriff Steve Moore has repeatedly informed us that he does not believe our salaries and benefits should be greater than what he receives because “we work for him” and “he is our boss.” We have been forced to pursue this matter through the County merely to ensure that we are treated equally.

While the foregoing has occurred, I reached out to a neighboring county to find out if our experience with Sheriff Steve Moore was similar to that of their forensic pathologist. I was shocked to learn that the forensic pathologist in the other county had met with their Sheriff privately only 2 or 3 times in the ten years in which he has been the county forensic pathologist and that their Sheriff affords him complete independence to perform his job duties. For Dr. Parson and I, Sheriff Steve Moore routinely inserts himself in our daily duties as physicians, routinely summons us to meetings, sometimes privately, to question our autopsy reports and findings, and, on occasion, requests that I modify my autopsy reports. One such case involved an individual who died during a physical altercation with the police. I refused to comply with this request because it was not proper. After we completed and closed autopsy cases, an attorney, a family member or a physician sometimes contact us directly to ask questions about our conclusions in the Coroner’s report. We learned that changes were made to the Coroner’s report without any form of consultation or expert advice from any of the pathologists employed in the office. Some of these changes may go against the generally accepted principles, standards of practice and common knowledge of medicine. It was our professional duty as physician employees of the office to advise the office on such matters and to guarantee that the office adheres to these standards and principles.

Several months ago, I received a phone call from an attorney who was representing the family of a man who had recently died in a motor vehicle crash. The family wanted to do a second autopsy after my autopsy because they did not believe and trust that my eventual conclusions and opinions would not be influenced by Sheriff Steve Moore. That phone call bothered me and caused me to begin to suspect that the pervasive and adversarial environment in which I was working could be influencing my professional judgement, opinions and conclusions, without me knowing it. At this moment I realized that I had to leave to seek employment in another County in California where the Sheriff is not like Sheriff Steve Moore.

I want to thank you and the good people of San Joaquin County for supporting me, believing in me and giving me a home for over ten years. I feel like we are all part of the greater San Joaquin Family. I will remain in the Central Valley and will make myself available to assist you in any way I can to serve the residents of the County. Together we can do unimaginable things.

Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Bennet Omalu, MD, MBA, MPH, CPE, DABP-AP,CP,FP,NP

Anatomic Pathologist/Clinical Pathologist/Forensic Pathologist/Neuropathologist/Epidemiologist

DAWG SAYS:

IS THERE A SERIOUS PROBLEM IN SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY OR WHAT!!!

EDITORIAL ABOUT SHERIFF STEVE MOORE BY SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS…….

“San Joaquin Sheriff Moore acting like a B movie stereotype”

10-31-2017

steve moore

San Joaquin County’s sheriff might have felt frustrated, even embarrassed, that bodies were found in his jurisdiction in 2012 because of the work of a bounty hunter rather than his deputies. But Sheriff Steve Moore’s egotistical, territorial obstruction of outside law enforcement only makes him look worse as investigators try to determine whether their cases might also be the work of the “Speed Freak Killers.”

Moore is acting like a bad-cop stereotype in a B movie. He needs to start acting like a 21st century professional and take pride in helping to solve horrific crimes that haunt the families of victims missing for decades.


Relatives deserve to know if Terri Ann Fourcher, last seen in Reno in 1996 at age 28, and Michaela Garecht, abducted at age 9 from Hayward in 1988, were victims in the drug-fueled killing sprees of Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog.

In rare public airings of law enforcement disputes, police detectives from Hayward and Reno, Nevada, complain in court records that Moore blocked their attempts to get answers.

Convicted of four murders, Shermantine is on death row at San Quentin Prison. Herzog’s convictions were overturned in 2004; he was paroled in 2010 and committed suicide in 2012. Investigators believe there were 20 or more victims.

In 2012, bounty hunter Leonard Padilla and retired FBI agent Jeff Rinek convinced Shermantine to provide maps showing where some were buried.

Moore first resisted attempts to bring Shermantine, under guard, to the county to pinpoint locations. When the sheriff’s department finally started digging, it used backhoes, commingling body parts and destroying evidence. Rinek says the sheriff’s office sabotaged the crime scene as a cover-up because it thought it had deleted missing-person files and wanted to make sure remains couldn’t be identified.

And if that’s not enough:

Recently retired Hayward police Detective Kevin Atkins said Moore and his office stonewalled efforts to determine if unearthed shoes might be Garecht’s.

Reno Detective Allan Fox said that, despite an informant linking Herzog to the Fourcher case, Moore’s office has denied access to case files. The sheriff expressed anger that Fox was investigating in San Joaquin County.

Similarly, state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, said the sheriff was angry when she gave him letters Shermantine wrote in 2010 explaining where bodies could be found.

And San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa received calls from investigators and from friends and family of missing persons complaining that the sheriff wouldn’t help them determine if Shermantine and Herzog were involved.

Moore needs to change course 180 degrees. Perhaps his fellow sheriffs should offer a reality check. Moor’s unprofessional conduct is giving the elected office a bad name.

DAWG SAYS:

Unusual that a report like this comes from a San Jose newspaper but no local reports in the Stockton record or any others. Or is it unusual?

As we have seen here in Stanislaus county, the local paper has chosen not to write stories on high profile cases, even on rare occasions the reporter is actually in the courtroom, he does not write an article when the DA’s office is portrayed in a bad light by the judge.