The coroner from the Gabby Petito case resigned from his hospital on Thursday but will stay in his medical examiner county role.
The Jackson Hole News and Guide reported on Oct. 15 that Dr. Brent Blue would not continue his contracted physician job at St. John’s Health, Family Health, and Urgent Care. The next day, Blue said he would talk with the hospital with his lawyer after he returned from vacation.
The family practice doctor is leaving the Wyoming hospital over his personal computer use at the office.
Petito Coroner Stressed By Hospital
On Facebook, Blue said St. John’s Health officials told him not to use his personal computer despite his need for it as a coroner in an Oct. 8 meeting.
A hospital official said there is no policy barring hospital contractors from using their personal computers. Blue said he used his personal computer for patient reports and telehealth visits without issue for 13 months.
Blue issued his final autopsy report findings on Gabby Petito’s death on Tuesday, Oct. 12. The coroner said that the woman, found near a Bridger-Teton National Park picnic area, was a victim of a homicide death by strangulation near Sept. 19.
The coroner said Gabby Petito died about three to four weeks before searchers found her body. The Sun learned that Gabby Petito had not been pregnant at the time of death. Other details about Petito have not come out yet, like the condition of the woman’s body. Blue did not say if Petito’s killer buried her or not in any public statements.
Two days later, Blue made his Facebook announcement saying he was leaving the hospital in February.
“They have essentially forced me to resign effective Feb. 10 due to this prohibition,” Blue said.
In a follow-up interview with the Jackson Hole Daily, Blue said he couldn’t function as county coroner “unless I have computer access during the day.”
Blue said his personal computer use did not affect the quality of patients he saw. He also stated that there were no complaints about his dual role. The doctor said he was not clear on why it became an issue “all of a sudden” but did four days before the hospital reopened its urgent care center.
Coroner: No Connection To Computer, Case
The coroner doesn’t think there was a connection between working on the high-profile Petito case and the recent decision to prohibit his personal computer use.
He told the newspaper that his decision to go public about leaving the hospital was over concern for his patients.
“I thought my patients had a right to know what was going on,” Blue added. Especially patients of mine who … are major donors to the hospital.”