Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Cook County medical examiner reviewing more than 200 cases handled by fired pathologist

Friday, May 25, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Rosemary Sobol

Cook County medical examiner reviewing more than 200 cases handled by fired pathologist

 

 

Rosemary Sobol

Chicago Tribune

 

May 25, 2018, 5:25 PM 

 

 

 

The Cook County medical examiner's office is taking the unusual step of reviewing the entire caseload of a pathologist who was fired the end of last year, so far changing eight findings with nearly 200 cases still to be re-examined.

 

“They were clerical errors and then there were some errors with his medical findings,’’ medical examiner spokeswoman Becky Schlikerman said of the work by John E. Cavanaugh

 

In one case, Cavanaugh's finding of a suicide was changed to undetermined because of questions over how the victim suffered a gunshot wound to the head. In another, his finding of undetermined was changed to homicide after the review found evidence of an assault.

 

In all, the office plans to review all 219 cases handled by Cavanaugh from the time he was hired in January 2017, at an annual salary of $250,000, to when he was fired last November. So far, the office has examined 23 cases and changed findings in eight of them.

 

 

 

 

The reviews will not require exhumation of bodies, but instead will involve an examination of case files, medical samples, photos and other paper work, Schlikerman said. The entire review is expected to take months.

 

The Cook County state's attorney's office has been notified because changes in findings could affect disposition of criminal cases. Families are also being contacted.

 

Errors in Cavanaugh's work had cropped up in the months after he was hired, Schlikerman said. He was demoted from deputy chief medical examiner to assistant medical examiner on July 23, and his salary was lowered to $228,105.

 

A peer review of his work was conducted last October and raised more red flags, Schlikerman said. Cavanaugh was fired effective Nov. 20 and his termination reported to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

 

 

 

This is the first time that a pathologist's entire work has been reviewed by the office, Schlikerman said. The review was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

 

Among the findings that have been changed so far is the death of a man found after a small fire broke out in an apartment in the 7900 block of South Greenwood Avenue on Oct. 9, 2017. Cavanaugh said he could not make a conclusive ruling on the cause of death, but the review found evidence of injuries from an assault and his death was ruled a homicide.

 

In another case, Cavanaugh determined that the death of a 20-year-old South Side man shot in the head last September was a suicide. But the review changed the cause to undetermined.

 

In a third case, Cavanaugh found that a 2-year-old Humboldt Park boy died a natural death on Feb. 23, 2017, citing "anoxic encephalopathy with bilateral lobar pneumonia." But the review changed the cause to undetermined.

 

 

 

Schlikerman credited the office's internal controls for catching the errors. “Our internal review process caught it and that means it worked."

 

rsobol@chicagotribune.com

 

Twitter @RosemarySobol1



Recent Headlines

Northbrook will revisit Cook County minimum wage ordinance in May
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suffredin: County to seek 'safeguards' for golf course road
Friday, November 16, 2018
Evanston NOW

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle to unveil policy roadmap for Cook County for next five years
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

U.S. appeals judges: Go fight over lawsuits with Dorothy Brown in state court
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Here's how the Shakman case curbed Cook County patronage
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Appeals court backs Dorothy Brown in lawsuit over public access to electronic records, says judge overstepped authority
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What’s Next As Voters Overwhelmingly Support Higher Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Time
Monday, November 12, 2018
Journal and Topics Online

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018
Patch

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
ABC 7

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

Cook County sheriff, CVS team up on safe prescription painkiller disposal
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP