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Macomb County Medical Examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)

Macomb County Medical Examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz Answers Tough Questions

Updated: Wednesday, 10 Nov 2010, 7:14 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 10 Nov 2010, 7:30 AM EST

WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. - The Macomb County medical examiner was forced to answer tough questions Wednesday from members of the board that approves his contract. Dr. Daniel Spitz said he has changed his procedures after a major mistake during an autopsy on a bank CEO.

Macomb County Medical Examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz has admitted he missed some critical clues during his autopsy on bank CEO David Widlak.

After the banker's decomposed body was found in Lake Saint Clair, Dr. Spitz said the cause of death was undetermined, but an independent autopsy by the Oakland County medical examiner found a bullet wound in the 62-year-old's neck.

"The facility in Oakland County uses fluoroscopy, which is a real time, continuous x-ray, which allows for multiple views. Had I had some indication or identified a wound that would've seemed to be related to a gunshot defect, the additional dissection could have been done earlier," Spitz said after that finding.

Spitz told members of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners his comments that day were taken out of context by the media, and he assured them the nearly $3-million morgue that he helped design does has adequate equipment.

As a result of his mistake, he told them he's changing his procedures.

Dr. Spitz makes more than $200,000 a year as the county's medical examiner. His contract is good until December 2011, and the Board of Commissioners approves that contract.

"I think we have a lot more questions that we need to ask," said Board of Commissioners Chairman Paul Gieleghem.

The family of another man is also raising questions. In 2006, Dr. Spitz ruled the death of Robert Simpson a suicide, but his family spoke at the meeting and said they don't believe that. Simpson died of a gunshot wound to the head. State Police are now investigating his death.

In the meantime, Widlak's death is being looked at as a homicide, but suicide has not been ruled out.


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