Dr. Joshua Perper and Linda Krivjanik, both former employees of the Broward Medical Examiner, are currently being blamed in large part for the catastrophic mishandling of controlled substances at the facility.
Unbelievably, this has not resulted in an immediate shut down and floor to ceiling audit of the entire office’s practices.
According to County Inspector General John Scott, who is heading up Broward Office of the Inspector General’s investigation, the Broward Medical Examiner is guilty of “gross mismanagement” of pills including oxycodone and hydrocodone, which can easily be abused. According to the report, at least 3,600 pills are missing, likely having been filtered into the illegal drug market. 2,250 such pills are pain medications with a high probability of abuse.
“The risk to public safety will never accurately be determined,” said Scott of the missing pills.
The storage of such pills was a huge factor in the report. Prescription pills are supposed to be kept in a secure evidence room for two years, after which they are supposed be incinerated. However, the Broward Medical Center reportedly had little protocol for storing such materials. The facility allegedly stored pills in trash bags that high school volunteers had access to, in bathrooms, and even in a room that was also used by an employee to store toys that the employee was selling on eBay. One employee called the situation a “free-for-all.”
Scott’s report blames Dr. Joshua Perper and Linda Krivjanik largely for the situation. Perper, who was the Medical Examiner for the office, retired in October for unrelated reasons, according to the office, while Krivjanik, who served as the medical legal investigator supervisor for the facility, was fired in December as a result of the investigation.
As the Medical Examiner for the office, Dr. Perper, 78, was accountable for the handling of evidence, and his negligence played a large part in the situation, according to Scott. Perper, he says, knew about the improper handling and did nothing to stop it. The report cites one instance where $3,000 went missing from a deceased person’s file and Peper did nothing about it directly, instead buying a safe that staff rarely used. Interestingly, Perper’s son, Dr. Zvi Harry Perper, is currently facing charges of illegal pill sales. He has pleaded not guilty.
Linda Krivjanik was also blamed in the report. According to reports from investigators, Krivjanik spent “85% of her day” on Saturdays in the evidence room, taking pills out of evidence boxes, putting them in black trash bags, and relocating them to an open access room. She reportedly told employees that she was looking for combustibles.
Krivjanik worked for 10 years under Perper as a county medical examiner. Perper resigned in September and left his post on October 30th. Governer Rick Scott is currently looking for a replacement for Perper, although the Governer “was not aware of the investigation and it did not factor into the governor’s decision.”
Perper told investigators that the Florida Medical Examiner Commission had audited the office six years prior and found that it met industry standards. He also said that he would have to be “a magician” to be aware of everything that was happening at the office.