New Cook County Medical Examiner Wants To Turn Page On Morgue Scandal

CHICAGO (CBS) — Bodies piled in the hallway. Workers asleep at their desks, or watching movies.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has been hit by more than its share of negative headlines. CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez talked with the new coroner, who says he’s trying to turn a new page.

“We’ve streamlined the operations and the way bodies are catalogued,” Dr. Stephen Cina says.

There’s also more supervision, after reports of workers sleeping and watching movies on the job.

Cina, who previously held the medical examiner’s post in Broward County, Fla., wants to beef up the toxicology labs, given an increase in drug-related deaths.

He says with about 5,000 bodies passing through the facility each year, the challenges are great.

“We’re dealing with people who’ve died under all sorts of tragic circumstances on a daily basis,” he says. “It all has to start with the people here. What’s their sense of well-being, how’s the morale?”

Cina says his employees have great respect for their patients and a great attitude. He says they feel they’ve weathered the storm.

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