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Ex El Paso Medical Examiner’s Doctored Resume Gets Him Fired But Texas Medical Board Rules Dr. Paul Shrode Was Qualified For the Job

Dr. Paul Shrode was the Chief Medical Examiner for El Paso for five years, until he was fired in 2010 after a controversy arose about his background and whether or not the errors on his resume (discovered and reported by the local ABC television channel, ABC-7) meant that Dr. Shrode did not have the proper credentials to be the medical examiner for El Paso.

Texas Medical Board Clears Dr. Paul Shrode and Closes Their Investigation Into Former El Paso Medical Examiner

The El Paso County Commissioners thought they’d been had: they terminated Dr. Shrode based upon the expose.  However, the Texas Medical Board didn’t see things the same way and last Friday, they dismissed their investigation into Dr. Paul Shrode finding that:

“there was sufficient proof that Dr. Shrode was qualified for the position of medical examiner, that he had not advertised his credentials in the public domain, and that he had been subject to a thorough pre-employment interview and questioning of his credentials.”

What about his resume?

In the 2007 expose, ABC-7 reported that the medical examiner had given county officials a résumé with two big errors:

  1. it listed a 1979 law degree from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos (School of Political Science); however, STWSU did not offer law degrees and only began offering a paralegal certification in 1980.
  2. it listed past job experience as Lubbock’s County Medical Examiner; however, the actual experience was as an employee of Texas Tech University where the doctor did some autopsies.

Will This Stop Defense Attorneys From Calling Foul on Dr. Paul Shrode’s Past Rulings in Criminal Cases?  No.

As the Chief Medical Examiner for El Paso, Dr. Paul Shrode gave testimony in case after case in criminal matters involving bodies — in other words, serious felony matters, usually involving allegations of homicide.  Some of these cases had prosecutors seeking the death penalty — and Dr. Shrode would take the stand as the Top Forensic Guy in the County and give his opinion.

Now that Dr. Shrode’s education and experience have been shown not to be what he presented in those court cases, it should come as no surprise to anyone that criminal defense attorneys are shocked, outraged, and of the opinion that every case this man was involved in should be reviewed. The Ohio Parole Board obviously agreed: they recommended clemency for a man sitting on Ohio’s Death Row after discovering that Dr. Paul Shrode was the medical examiner who gave testimony in his trial.

So, will last Friday’s ruling by the Texas Medical Board stop these challenges?  Should it?

Defense attorneys are still going to challenge Dr. Shrode’s testimony and opinion even with the Texas Medical Board’s ruling.  If we can’t trust the guy’s resume, then how can we trust any opinion he provides?


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