- Associated Press - Thursday, May 29, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Former Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Collie Trant - who was fired in 2010 after less than nine months on the job - has died. He was 65.

Casey Trant said in a telephone interview from the couple’s San Antonio home that her husband died there Monday of lung cancer.

“His sons call him the best friend they ever had; they’re devastated,” Casey Trant said Thursday. “He fought like crazy until the very end.”

Dr. Trant was still pursuing a lawsuit against Oklahoma’s Board of Medicolegal Investigations over his firing. He alleged he was dismissed in retaliation for trying to report wrongdoing in his workplace, but the board denied those claims.

The allegation was also rejected by a federal judge in Oklahoma City, and Trant’s lawsuit had been tried in several courtrooms in the years since his firing. A spokeswoman for the state medical examiner’s office declined Thursday to comment on the case.

In an opinion filed Wednesday, the 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Denver had upheld the dismissal of most of Trant’s claims, but ordered the district court to re-examine the claim that his dismissal was illegal because the investigations board violated the Open Meeting Act.

Trant claimed in the lawsuit that the board allegedly violated the act in its failure to give proper notice of the meetings in which his employment was discussed; his exclusion from executive session meetings and the board’s failure to open to the public the 2010 meeting in which he was dismissed.

Casey Trant said Thursday that she would likely still pursue that portion of her husband’s lawsuit.

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