August 25, 2023
Public Health today announced the appointment of Dr. J. Matthew Lacy, as Chief Medical Examiner for King County, following a national search. He succeeds Dr. Richard Harruff, who recently retired after a 30-year career in the King County Medical Examiner's Office.
Dr. Lacy has most recently served as Chief Medical Examiner for Snohomish County. He previously served as an Associate Medical Examiner in Snohomish, Pierce and King Counties.
"Dr. Lacy stood out as an exceptionally well-qualified candidate, with his knowledge and expertise in the field, the strong relationships he's built with local and state partners, and his deeply humane leadership qualities. He's a remarkable addition to an already outstanding office," said Dr. Faisal Khan, Director for Public Health – Seattle & King County. "I want to thank Dr. Harruff for his distinguished service to our community, creating an office of high professional standards and enduring commitment to its mission of investigating deaths in King County with compassion."
Dr. Lacy brings a range of valuable experiences to his work, having authored over a dozen peer-reviewed publications and is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Washington State University's Floyd College of Medicine. He's a member of the Washington State Coroner and Medical Examiners legislative committee, serves on the state's Forensic Investigations Council, and is a trained National Association of Medical Examiners inspector. In addition to his training in medicine and pathology, he also holds a law degree.
"The public health focus of the King County Medical Examiner's Office has been a national model for improving the safety and health of our communities through death investigation work. I am incredibly excited and humbled by this opportunity to make a contribution to one of the premiere death investigation teams in the country," said Dr. Lacy.
The King County Medical Examiner's Office brings trained medical evaluation to the investigation of sudden, violent, unexpected, and suspicious deaths that occur in King County. In addition to determining the cause and manner of death, the office works to provide accurate identification of decedents under their jurisdiction, and to notify the next of kin and provide compassionate support to families. The office has been continually accredited with the National Association of Medical Examiners since 1978.
Dr. Lacy will begin his position with King County this fall.