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.