DeKalb County is still without a permanent director for its medical examiner’s office after the former director was demoted in November for insubordination.
Patrick Bailey worked as director of the medical examiner’s office for a year before the demotion to a chief investigator in the office.
According to Bailey’s personnel file obtained by The Champion under the Georgia Open Records law, the demotion was related to Bailey’s handling of a contract for the chief medical examiner.
In DeKalb County, the director of the medical examiner’s office handles the administrative functions of the office, while the chief medical examiner oversees and performs forensic examinations.
Bailey joined the DeKalb County Police Department in 1996, where he moved through the ranks as a uniformed patrol officer, a robbery/homicide detective and an internal affairs investigator. He joined medical examiner’s office in 2003 as a forensic death investigator, forensic services manager and chief investigator.
Upon Bailey’s demotion, DeWayne Calhoun was appointed interim director of the office.
Calhoun “has performed very well in that position,” said William Miller, the county’s director of public safety. “Right now [Calhoun] is doing a good job in that capacity. Dr. [Gerald]Gowitt likes him. DeWayne may become our permanent director. We just haven’t made that decision yet.”
Miller said he will discuss with CEO Burrell Ellis whether Calhoun will be named the permanent director.
Miller would not comment on Bailey’s demotion.
In a November 2011 letter informing Bailey of his demotion, Miller stated that Bailey failed to inform Miller, Finance Director Joel Gottlieb or CEO Burrell Ellis that the chief medical examiner’s contract was up for a vote by the Board of Commissioners on Oct. 25, 2011.
Miller stated that he “consistently instructed” Bailey for seven days to remove the item from the commissioners’ agenda.
When Miller attended the commissioners’ meeting to ensure the removal of the contract, Bailey said “this is political” and “not right,” according memo by Kelvin Walton, director of the purchasing and contracting department.
“Mr. Bailey was very upset and disrespectful,” Walton stated. The agenda item was removed by Walton during the Oct. 25 meeting.
The contract in question was for Gowitt who has been DeKalb’s chief medical examiner since 2000.
Bailey asked the Board of Commissioners to increase Gowitt’s contract by $140,000 to $800,000 to “properly fund him.”
Gowitt’s contract is used to pay seven people and funds any additional staff or testing needed for the medical examiner’s office which investigates approximately 1,700 cases a year, Bailey said in a September 2011 interview after the contract was first introduced to the Board of Commissioners.
“It costs him to provide those additional personnel and that doesn’t cost us anything,” Bailey told The Champion.
The contract, which was due to expire at the end of 2011, has not come back before the Board of Commissioners for a vote. Gowitt is currently on a month-to-month contract until a new one is written, Miller said.