SLO County medical examiner accused of misconduct

April 14, 2017

Gary Walter

By KAREN VELIE

The California Attorney General’s Office is seeking to revoke or suspend the license of San Luis Obispo County’s medical examiner, Dr. Gary Walter. Walter stands accused of committed a crime that substantially impacts his ability to properly perform his job, according to an accusation filed on April 10.

On March 9, 2016, Walter was involved in a hit and run while on his way to perform an autopsy. Shortly before 8 a.m., Walter was spotted speeding down Broad Street near Orcutt Road with a blown front tire and steam pouring from the front end of his Cadillac Escalade truck, according to the police report.

By the time San Luis Obispo police officers arrived, Walter had pulled his truck over near Tank Farm Road, just a half of a mile from the county medical examination facility, the police report says.

Officers then transported Walter to French Hospital Medical Center for a blood test that showed an alcohol concentration of .19.

Even so, he was not prosecuted for the hit and run “and the parties stipulated to a blood alcohol content of .08 for purposes of resolution,” according to the accusation.

After a physician is convicted of a crime, the California Medical Board launches an investigation. If the investigation finds evidence that the physician has violated the Medical Practice Act and the violation warrants disciplinary action, the case is forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office.

Walter has until April 25 to dispute the charges in the allegation and ask for a hearing. If Walter does not dispute the allegations, the board may decide to revoke or suspend his medical license.

On Jan. 25, Walter conducted an autopsy on Andrew Holland, a 36-year-old man who died at the county jail after being strapped in a restraint chair for more than 36 hours. Walter concluded that Holland died from a 5-cenimeter-long blood clot that moved from his leg to his lung after he was released from the restraints.

The county coroner then ruled Holland’s death as natural.

Dr. Gary Walter Discipline by CalCoastNews on Scribd







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28 Comments

  1. Pelican1 says:

    Perhaps the good Dr. should have taken Dean Wormer’s advice…..

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. demiseofslo says:

    Sheriff’s Department getting more and more sketchy everyday!

    Shaking my F***ing Head!!!

    (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
  3. CentralcoastRN says:

    I think calling the death natural causes is a sort of technicality because it wasn’t really homocide, and it wasn’t an accident. The Medical Examiner says the guy had a 2 inch long blood clot that moved from leg to lung when restraints were finally released. That right there incriminates law enforcement.

    As far as the drinking goes, I could see how this kind of work can drive a person to drink. He’s probably seen some disturbing things in his time. That said, he chose to drink and drive and should face whatever consequences that should follow. This will call in to question his past work unfortunately, and this should be taken in to consideration when he goes before the medical board (and he SHOULD).

    (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
    • seesfarther says:

      So….. the ‘Medical Examiner” does an autopsy and declares that being in the restraint chair for over 40 hours might have been a contributory factor in the formation of a 5 centimeter long blood clot which lodged in the victim’s lung resulting in his death.

      The ‘Medical Examiner’ is arrested on a DUI (granted this occurred last year but still….) and mysteriously has his blood alcohol level ‘reduced’ from a .19 (at the hospital) to a .08 (at the jail?) and is NOT prosecuted for an alleged DUI/Hit&Run?

      The “Coroner” (Hey, wait a minute…. isn’t he also the Sheriff in these parts?) somehow decides that the victim has died of “NATURAL CAUSES.” —– are you following this??????

      I’m sorry – but this does not seem to be adding up. Someone has some explaining to do and I can only hope the judge will be listening carefully. More importantly, I hope the judge has a capable sniffer because this whole thing is really starting to STINK!

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
      • CentralcoastRN says:

        I’m not saying I disagree with you.

        Some things are legal language- like the term natural causes. The medical examiner (the drunk one) said in the report that this guy died from a 2 inch long clot from being in the restraints for a long time and then the restraints being released. These are objective findings- facts- that specifically incriminate his law enforcement bros. A 2 inch clot is pretty huge for a 35 year old dude. Bust out a ruler and look. Natural causes implies that no one shot, stabbed, or ran him over. The clot naturally flowed up his Blood vessel to his lung and killed him instantly. The clot got there because deputies restrained him. The medical examiner isn’t covering that up. A jury will hear this report and testimony and understand that this young man would be alive today if deputies had not restrained him for so long. I hope that makes sense to you.

        I think they dropped the BAC so he wouldn’t lose his license all together. He will go before the medical board for discipline of some kind. They don’t want drunk doctors running around sullying the good reputation of hardworking sober doctors.

        This medical examiner is probably technically a good doctor. He is also a law breaking jerk who needs to face the consequences.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  4. sloweb says:

    I smell Quid Pro Quo! This stinks so much, I can smell it from here!

    (18) 20 Total Votes - 19 up - 1 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Welcome to the world of public service.

      (17) 19 Total Votes - 18 up - 1 down
      • CentralcoastRN says:

        99% of public workers come to work sober and work hard.

        (5) 17 Total Votes - 11 up - 6 down
        • kayaknut says:

          And yet we hear silence from your supposed 99% when one of their own breaks the law, why is that?

          (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
          • kayaknut says:

            And that number that represents your supposed 99% need to cut in half, Your 99% working in the public sector is 49.5% too many.

            (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
        • DocT says:

          Sober? Yes, I suppose they come to work sober most of the time. But when one of their own is caught driving drunk, cutting up dead bodies drunk, keeping vicious dogs that get out and chew people to death, illegally spying on their fellow public employees, engaging in non-consensual domestic violence, taking family vacations on public monies, and a long litany of other abuses—-all of them derived from SLO country headlines—-

          We can safely conclude that public employees—even when they are sober—instinctually maintain silence and l engage in lying and obstruction of justice in order to protect their own.

          They’ll continue to do so and worse as long as we tolerate it and pretend they’re necessary.

          (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
  5. jana says:

    One other issue comes to mind with this story. The coroner’s office is part of the sheriff’s department detective division. There is a commander in charge of the detective coroners and a sergeant who supervises the coroners. If the pathologist was showing up drunk where were they? Out having coffee? Swapping stories with the boys while the drunk was carving up bodies?

    (23) 27 Total Votes - 25 up - 2 down
  6. jana says:

    Doc T:

    I share your concerns and some of your convictions about this, however the remedy you propose would lead to anarchy and chaos.

    What are we expected to do make friends with the criminals?

    The problem is at the top. The direction given to officers and the moral and ethical standards that are set are always set by the people at the top. The remedy to this problem in the sheriff’s department is to find someone who is ethical and have them run in the 2018 election against Parkinson assuming he chooses to run for reelection.

    The solution is not to throw every cop in the nation under the bus.
    Hold their leaders accountable and the leaders will hold the officers accountable.

    As for Sheriff Parkinson and Undersheriff Olivas they need to go…

    (27) 33 Total Votes - 30 up - 3 down
    • DocT says:

      HI Jana,

      Anarchy and chaos….bad as they are…..have a much better track record for preserving human life than police states. Anarchists have murdered thousands in the last 120 years….but in the same time frame totalitarian police states have murdered hundreds of millions.

      As long as we continue with the “prevention” mindset of policing, we’ll continue to suffer. As long as police insist on breaking the law in order to enforce the law, abuse will escalate.

      As long as police see themselves as above the law (general immunity) abuse will escalate.

      (18) 18 Total Votes - 18 up - 0 down
    • L.A.RamsFan says:

      Nope, we don’t throw every LEO under the bus, just the ones who are no better than the suspects (no, not criminals because they have yet to be convicted of what they are suspected of doing) and the ones that cover the above mentioned asses; which would be about oh I don’t know, 99.99%!!!

      “The problem is at the top. The direction given to officers and the moral and ethical standards that are set are always set by the people at the top. The remedy to this problem in the sheriff’s department is to find someone who is ethical and have them run in the 2018 election against Parkinson assuming he chooses to run for reelection.”

      I disagree! The moral and ethical direction of any LEO, top, middle or bottom of the rung, should reflect and represent that of the community; in the case of SLO it does! You don’t actually want change as it would necessitate a whole hearted change on your community’s part as well.

      How can a community who will put up with the treatment, or lack there of, of it’s least to the point of death in some cases, even suggest a change at any rung in their LEA’s? How can a community that disparages the mentally ill on a continuing basis, even to the point of denying them even basic medical treatment and human compassion, call for the LEA’s to do anything different? You can’t!!! Don’t you get that?!!!

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down

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