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Doctor, two supervisors fired from Oklahoma medical examiner's office

Dr. Andrew Sibley and two supervisors at the Oklahoma medical examiner's office in Tulsa have been fired.
by Nolan Clay Published: July 22, 2012

A longtime doctor at the Oklahoma medical examiner's office and two supervisors have been fired after an investigation.

Dr. Andrew Sibley, investigator supervisor Brenda Kelley and administrative supervisor Ashley Hancock were fired July 12. The three Tulsa employees had been on administrative leave since late May when they were forced to leave work.

Officials called Tulsa police beforehand to assist, if necessary, with their removal in May, The Oklahoman was told.

The new chief medical examiner, Dr. Eric Pfeifer, fired all three himself, first by phone and then by certified mail.

Kelley was fired for violations of an employee conduct policy and a discrimination and harassment policy, according to her two-page termination letter.

“Acts of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to ... sexual kidding or other contact in an intimate or sexual way, sexual jokes or stories,” Pfeifer wrote in the letter that provided no specifics about the alleged violations.

The medical examiner's office released Kelley's letter to The Oklahoman last week. The chief administrative officer, Amy Elliott, said she will release the other letters once she has proof they were received.

“The medical examiner's office places extraordinary value on its employees,” Elliott said. “We strive to create a high-quality and comfortable work environment that emphasizes service to the citizens of Oklahoma.”

Pfeifer did not respond to messages left by phone and email for comment.

Kelley and Hancock could not be reached for comment.

Sibley said last week by phone from Canada that he has not seen his termination letter yet. He complained he does not know what accusations were made against him. He said he was never given a chance to respond before being fired.

“This is terrible. This is terrible,” Sibley said.

“I have always thought that one should be given the opportunity to not only defend oneself against any allegations but, also, to at least know what the allegations are. ... I've not been asked any questions. I have no idea what the issue is,” Sibley said.

“A professional who has been with the agency for 12 years, through thick and thin, should be afforded a little bit more consideration than this,” he said.

Sibley, 50, served as the interim chief medical examiner for months until the board that oversees the medical examiner's office hired Pfeifer in March 2011. The Board of Medicolegal Investigations offered Sibley the top position in November 2010, but he turned it down.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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