Lubbock County Medical Examiner Files Whistleblower Suit

Dr. Luisa Florez, the former Lubbock County Deputy Medical Examiner, has filed a lawsuit alleging that she was wrongfully terminated for reporting purported illegal activity in the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Florez filed the suit against Lubbock County Commissioners, Lubbock County Commissioners, the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office and Lubbock County Medical Examiner Dr. Sridhar Natarajan, alleging violations of the Texas Whistleblower Act.

Florez alleges that she was fired for reporting irregularities in the Lubbock County ME’s Office, including backdating of autopsy reports, allowing unqualified technicians to perform autopsies and allowing her final autopsy reports to be revised without her knowledge or consent.

Florez contends that after she reported the alleged violations to the District Attorney’s office and county commissioners, no action was taken. She alleges that she was harassed and that her eventual dismissal was in retaliation for her whistleblowing activities.

Florez’s suit says that in October 2014 she received a positive evaluation from Dr. Sridhar Natarajan, who recommended her for a raise. On August 13, 2015, she received a letter of termination from the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s human resources director informing her that she was being dismissed for an “unacceptable performance issue and insubordination”. Her termination was effective the next day.

According to the response filed on August 14, 2015, Natarajan denied the allegations and said that Florez has a “long and checkered history with the law,” saying that she is an illegal immigrant and misrepresented her immigration status.

“She has ignored even the basic responsibilities as a citizen of the United States and the State of Texas… she has remained in the United States as an illegal immigrant, having misrepresented her right to stay in the United States on a ‘student visa.’”

Natarajan also contends that Florez and her ex-husband, who is currently serving time in prison for criminal fraud, participated together in an illegal credit card fraud scheme. He said that damaging her reputation is not possible because her reputation is already damaged, citing a number of news articles and blogs that reported Florez had made false statements under oath regarding a loan application.

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