Former Area M.E. Works a Deal With Health Investigators

The former medical examiner for Walton and Okaloosa Counties has been disciplined by the Florida Department of Health.

Dr. Michael Berkland was fired in 2003 for allegedly failing to completed death reports. A probe by the state showed Berkland failed to complete more than 100 autopsy reports in 2001 and 2002.

The state has now decided to suspend Berkland's license and fine him $5,000.

However, in order to get those unfinished autopsy reports completed, the state is staying Berkland’s suspension and giving him six months to complete the work.

He will be under strict supervision. He could also face probation.

Berkland also has to pay more than $2,700 in administrative costs.

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