Less than a month after Cook County's chief medical examiner suddenly retired following the discovery of bodies stacked at the county morgue, Board President Toni Preckwinkle has appointed someone new.
Dr. Stephen J. Cina, associate medical director and chief administrative officer at the University of Miami’s Tissue Bank, will replace Dr. Nancy Jones, who is stepping down effective July 31.
“Dr. Cina comes to us with outstanding credentials,” Preckwinkle said in a statement, noting Cina served as deputy chief medical examiner in Florida's Broward County. “His wide-ranging expertise and executive experience clearly show he’s capable of providing the highest level of leadership and direction that will reshape the Medical Examiner’s Office into a model facility."
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office came under fire in January after leaked photos showed bodies stacked in haphazard fashion, some with limbs exposed. At the time, Preckwinkle said she was "disturbed, discouraged, and disappointed," by the news that the morgue faced such a large inventory.
Preckwinkle promised a shakeup at the office. Since then chief administrator Kimberly Jackson has been fired and replaced by Darryl Jackson (no relation) who Preckwinkle hailed as bringing a raft of administrative expertise to an office sorely in need for organization and reform.
“Over the past several months, we’ve been addressing serious concerns at the ME’s office head on," Preckwinkle said in a statement. "These issues arose because of a culture that was allowed to go unchecked in the past."
Preckwinkle submitted Cina's name to the Board of Commissioners for consent and confirmation.
If approved he will replace Jones, appointed by former board president Todd Stroger in 2007.