Wecht deep in debt, but delighted

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Verbose and hyper, quick-witted and sharp-tongued, Dr. Cyril H. Wecht hasn't retired.

Or even slowed down.

Despite the fact that he's 78 years old.

And that he's spent the last four years battling a federal criminal investigation.

"Some may have considered me to have been stupidly obstinate, but there was no alternative," he said during a news conference yesterday.

Had the forensic pathologist pleaded guilty to even one of the 84 counts originally filed against him in U.S. District court, Dr. Wecht would have lost his professional licensure in medicine and the law.

Yesterday, those concerns disappeared when U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan's office filed a motion to dismiss all the counts against him.

The judge signed it, and the case is over.

Dr. Wecht said he was delighted.

He lamented, though, the money spent hiring former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and the law firm K&L Gates to represent him.

"All that I built up, and all that my wife and I saved, is gone, and I am very much in debt," Dr. Wecht said.

But with all of the man's various ventures -- he released a new book during the case -- that could change.

On Monday, he testified in a Greene County murder case and yesterday performed two autopsies in Fayette County.

"All of that will continue," he said. "I shall continue writing, lecturing. [Ms. Buchanan] was not able to deter that. Neither she nor her henchmen."

And there's even been some talk of a new book on his legal battles.

Turning to his wife, Sigrid, he said, "I shall continue unfettered in the next, what, honey? Twenty years?"


Paula Reed Ward can be reached at pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.


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