New Alaska chief medical examiner named

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

A pathologist who has been working as an assistant Alaska medical examiner has been named the state's chief medical examiner.

Gary Zientek has worked for the Alaska Division of Public Health since 2009. Gov. Sean Parnell approved Zientek's promotion in January.

Reports say Zientek's medical license was suspended for four years in Virginia because of alcohol and drug abuse. His Virginia license was restored in late 2007.

Zientek says he has been sober for 10 years. He says his is a story about redemption.

Parnell spokeswoman Sharon Leighow says Zientek has been open about his past and is highly qualified for the position.

The Department of Administration says Zientek was the only person interviewed for the job, which pays about $225,000 a year.