Why Is Lubbock County’s Medical Examiner Serving as the Mayor of Wolfforth?
If you haven't been closely following local news over the past month, the City of Wolfforth has been embroiled in some drama.
The mayor, city manager, and city associate judge resigned, at the same time, on June 21, in protest against other city officials. The people who resigned were Mayor Mike Wright, City Manager Darrell Newsome, and Associate Judge Karen Newsome.
A week and a half later, Wolfforth's city council made an appointment of an interim mayor: Dr. Charles Addington, the Lubbock County Medical Examiner. Dr. Addington is slated to fill out the rest of the mayoral term through May 2022.
If Addington's name is familiar, it's because he was Wolfforth's mayor from 2012-2020.
In July of last year, Dr. Addington was appointed the Lubbock County Medical Examiner by the Lubbock County Commissioner's Court.
The Medical Examiner's position has been one of controversy over the years in Lubbock County, and I guess that will now continue in some form or fashion.
In this case, why is the Lubbock County Medical Examiner now an elected official for a city in the county in which he serves? Doesn't that scream 'conflict of interest'? Also, was the Lubbock County Commissioner's Court even aware of Addington being named as Wolfforth's interim mayor?
If an autopsy is performed on a person who is a resident of Wolfforth, I would assume that Dr. Addington would need to recuse himself from all of the paperwork involved. Otherwise, couldn't some defense attorney potentially point out that Dr. Addington is serving two masters while signing off on autopsies and death certificates for Wolfforth residents?
Another issue. Traditionally, the Lubbock County Medical Examiner has been one of the highest paid positions in Lubbock County. I don't know what Dr. Addington is currently being paid. But if he has the time to serve as a mayor of a city, doesn't that mean he's not fully committed to his job with Lubbock County?
What is the Commissioner's Court reaction to his "side job"? Is Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish okay with this?
Dr. Addington is an accomplished individual and is a respected member of the medical community. However, if he wants to be a politician, why is he still Lubbock County's Medical Examiner?