3 fired from Macomb medical examiner's office keep jobs in St. Clair

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Three employees fired this month from the Macomb County Medical Examiner's Office amid allegations of sexism and racism are continuing to work for Medical Examiner Daniel Spitz — in St. Clair County.

Macomb County Medical Examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz

The three women were reported by another female worker who was offended by their workplace behavior, which allegedly included displaying pornography at work and bringing in a penis-decorated cake.

Reached Friday for comment, Spitz confirmed the three women are still performing medical examiner-related duties in St. Clair County at Port Huron Hospital.

“They are longstanding employees who have worked there part-time for years,” said Spitz, who himself has worked under a contract with St. Clair County for 15 years. “I don’t know of any concerns raised about their work. I have never had any problems with their workplace performance.”

Spitz stressed he never hired any of the women for the Macomb County office, nor was he responsible for any hiring for that office or in St. Clair County.

“There are not a lot of people who do this kind of (medical examiner) work,” he said, adding that he was comfortable with the three women staying in employment in St. Clair County.

“That staff is pretty small, everyone is employed part-time and there is only one full-time position,” Spitz said.

Their firings in Macomb County all revolved around employee behavior at the Medical Examiner’s Office either tolerated or overlooked by a female supervisor who was also subsequently fired Aug. 11.

The dismissals occurred after a fifth woman, an investigator at the office, who filed a complaint with the Macomb County Human Resources Department and the federal Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission.

The firings came after a county investigation, Human Resources Director Andrew McKinnon said Friday. He would not elaborate on the offenses.

“I don’t want to discuss it nor any background of the employees,” said McKinnon, who would not disclose how long they had worked for Macomb County.

McKinnon said the hirings and firings were handled by the county, not Spitz. He said the county has since posted job openings for two medical examiner assistants, who are involved in autopsies and other duties, and an investigator for the office.

It is not known what, if any, impact it may have on Spitz’s four-year $1.6 million contract, which is set to expire next year.

“I think there has been a lot of misinformation reported about this,” said Spitz, who declined to elaborate.


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