Mayor suspends medical examiner after drug bust

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 12:14pm

This story has been updated. 

Mississippi police arrested Tennessee’s state medical examiner Bruce Levy on marijuana charges Tuesday night. As a result, Mayor Karl Dean has suspended him indefinitely. He named Dr. Amy McMaster, also of Levy's firm, as acting medical examiner

According to a statement from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, “agents discovered a package believed to contain less than one ounce of marijuana” in Levy’s possession during a routine search and arrested him. Later, “several small containers” of marijuana were found in his hotel room.

Levy was booked into the Madison County, Miss. jail and released this morning after a hearing setting a $25,000 bond.  

Levy serves as Nashville’s chief medical examiner, a post he’s held since 1997. In 1998, he was contracted as the state’s medical examiner. The state terminated that contract this morning.

"At approximately at 10:30 a.m. today, I was notified by officials in Mississippi of the arrest of Dr. Bruce Levy on felony drug charges," said Susan Cooper, commissioner of the health department. "Dr. Levy is not an employee of the state. He serves as state medical examiner under a contract with the state Department of Health. The Department of Health is taking immediate action to terminate its contract with Dr. Levy for these services.”

Cooper said she would appoint an interim examiner to maintain services until a full-time replacement could be found.

Levy is also the CEO of Global Forensics, and the company is contracted to do medical examiner work in Mississippi.

Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephen Simpson immediately suspended Levy’s privileges within the Magnolia State and notified Global Forensics their contract will be terminated.

“We believe this to be an isolated case within Global Forensics. No medical examination services at the state medical examiner’s office will be interrupted by the arrest, but let this [serve] as notice that no one is exempt from our commitment to fight illegal drugs wherever found. We will immediately begin our search to replace Global Forensics,” Simpson said. 

7 Comments on this post:

By: Kosh III on 3/17/10 at 1:03

So much for innocent until proven guilty.

By: slzy on 3/17/10 at 1:07

can legalizing pot be any worse than things as they are?

for what we spend on "the war on drugs",in blood and treasure,could'nt we give it away cheaper?

the illegal aliens may even go home and raise a cash crop.

By: Anna3 on 3/17/10 at 1:58

slzy...this didn't cost much...the dumb A** basically turned himself in.

By: wolfy on 3/17/10 at 9:03

While Rome burns.....
Yes it is illegal but this is such a waste of time and a good mans name. Please spend more time and resources on other things more important. This is a waste.

By: RealityRosie on 3/18/10 at 8:02

How long has the War on Drugs been going on? I forget; it seems to have been going on forever. How much has that cost, now that the American Public is demanding details? And how successful is it when a respected medical professional gets tapped in Jackson, MS, under dubious circumstances?

By: worldwidechuck on 3/18/10 at 10:37

Less than one ounce of Marijuana? What a waste of time and resources. What a slap in the face to intelligent people everywhere who really could give a rats butt about someone smoking a joint! The Prohibition on Marijuana is an incredible waste and is as ridiculous as the one on alcoholic once was.

By: billollib on 3/18/10 at 6:18

This smells like a setup. Dr. Levy is well respected in the forensic medicine community, and was working to reform the corrupt Mississippi system. There were a lot of folk in Mississippi who didn't want things fixed. It just smells fishy -- a Chief Medical Examiner goes to a strange city and supposedly calls a person he doesn't know in order to have marijuana delivered to his hotel room, where he *already* supposedly had plenty scattered about the place already conveniently packaged in evidence bags. It's quite the coincidence that this happened the day before the vote on the reform of the system. Please.