CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Court documents shed new light on the investigation that led up to Tuesday's arrest of Nueces County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Adel Shaker.
Shaker was arrested Tuesday for 17 charges -- 15 counts of prohibited practice by a physician, one count of unprofessional or dishonorable conduct by a physician, and one count of failure to delegate general authority.
Shaker went before a judge Wednesday afternoon and learned his bond has been set at $50,000 for each of those 17 counts, totaling $850,000.
The arrest affidavit 3News obtained Wednesday states that Shaker, as well as the Medical Examiner's Office administrator and the Nueces County Human Resources director all were aware that former assistant medical examiner Dr. Sandra Lyden was conducting autopsies without a license.
Lyden was also arrested a second time on new charges.
These arrests come after a months-long investigation by the Nueces County District Attorney's Office and the Texas Rangers. According to the affidavit, the Texas Ranger assigned to the case believes Shaker knew Lyden never had a valid medical license before and after she was hired by Nueces County.
Lyden was fired in January for practicing without a license. Investigators then arrested Lyden in early March and charged her with tampering with government documents with intent to defraud -- a state jail felony. She now faces 21 additional charges -- 15 counts of practicing medicine without a license, and six counts of tampering with government documents.
Emails, texts detail concern about Lyden's lack of license
Court documents show numerous emails and text messages between Nueces County employees -- including Shaker and Lyden -- that call into question the decision to hire Lyden late last year. Lyden's text messages and emails to Shaker and other officials show that she was concerned about not having a valid license to practice medicine in Texas and had even asked for help from Shaker and Nueces County's human resources department.
In fact, according to the arrest affidavit, Lyden told investigators that she had weekly conversations with Dr. Shaker about not having a license. There was even a text message from Lyden to Shaker saying that she would continue to "stall" providing the county a copy of her license.
Lyden was employed by Nueces County as a deputy assistant medical examiner for 40 days. During 15 of those days she was conducting autopsies.
The affidavit also details Shaker's handwritten notes stating that he had received Lyden's temporary provisional license number. However, after a check with the Texas Medical Board, investigators said there was no information tied to that number.
Shaker's case was initially sent to Judge Inna Klein's court. However, 3News learned Wednesday afternoon that Klein recused herself from the case. It will now go to Judge David Stith's court. He is also overseeing Lyden's case.
More from 3News on KIIITV.com:
- Nueces County chief medical examiner arrested
- Texas Uber driver arrested after teen says he was kidnapped during ride
- Texas Attorney General's Office to preside over Joseph Tejeda trial, man accused of murdering Breanna Wood in 2016
- Rare sea slugs called blue dragons wash up near Bob Hall Pier
- Here's how you can watch 'Mean Girls' with one of the cast members at TAMUK
- Texas governor to bus migrants from border to Washington
- Rubber bales from WWII era wash up on Padre Island beaches
- Runoffs: Here are some things to keep in mind for upcoming elections in May
Want to send us a news tip?
Put your name and contact information below so we can get in touch with you about your story should we have questions or need more information. We realize some stories are sensitive in nature. Let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.
If you do not have a photo/video to submit, just click "OK" to skip that prompt.