ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ State regulators are investigating a doctor who speeded up delivery of a baby, plopped the infant into a Christmas stocking and dashed to a TV studio next door to display her as the county's first newborn of the '90s.

Myra Kristine Palmer was officially delivered 15 seconds after midnight by Dr. Charles Wesley Turner Jr. and presented on a nationally televised religious service led by the Rev. Ralph Wilkerson.

Turner, 64, insisted neither the mother, Brigitte Palmer, nor her 6-pound, 12-ounce baby girl was harmed by his hastening of the delivery at Turner's Covenant Birthing Center in Orange County. The doctor said the mother went into labor naturally.

''There is an investigation,'' Vern Leeper, chief investigator for the Board of Medical Quality Assurance, said from Sacramento on Thursday. ''I'm not sure there is a violation there, but we have a concern over the incident.''

The board opened the investigation Wednesday.

A receptionist at Turner's office said he was with patients Thursday and unavailable for comment.

Turner said Wilkerson, pastor of the next-door Melodyland Christian Center, had asked months ago if he could provide a newborn for the New Year's Eve service.

''We had the mother push at 11:59,'' Turner said. ''I put the forceps on and pulled the infant out. We had her at 15 seconds after midnight. ... I used the forceps because I wanted to have the first baby in the New Year.

''I was highly jubilant,'' he said. ''The congregation yelled and screamed and applauded. And everybody wanted to see the baby.''

Mrs. Palmer, 25, said she ''felt felt a little funny because he took her and ran off with her. But he wanted to have her on TV. It was a special feeling for everyone to see the baby.''

The infant was returned to Mrs. Palmer about 10 minutes later. She and the baby are at home.

Dr. Roger Schlesinger, president of the Orange County Obstetrics and Gynecological Society, said he believes Turner took a risk in taking the newborn outside.

''I don't think I'd take my newborn out of a hospital,'' Schlesinger said. ''Any newborn baby requires some degree of observation. Some have low blood sugars. Some convulse.''

''Babies are pretty hardy,'' he said. ''Most do well. But some don't. So I guess he was playing the odds a bit.''

Turner, who said he has delivered more than 18,000 babies in his 40-year career, said: ''I don't think there's anything wrong with having the first baby of the New Year. And the baby was delivered safely. And I see nothing wrong with taking the baby and showing it to the 4,000'' people at Melodyland.

In 1984, the state medical board accused Turner of illegally prescribing dangerous drugs and placed his license on five years' probation. Turner pleaded no contest to a related misdemeanor and was placed on three years' criminal probation and fined $15,000.

In 1988, he was named in a 1988 wrongful death lawsuit after a child he delivered at Santa Ana Hospital Medical Center died immediately after birth, the Times reported. The suit alleges Turner caused the death by failing to perform a timely Caesarean section.

Turner denied any wrongdoing in the case Wednesday. He remains on the staff at Santa Ana but lost the privilege to practice obstetrics there, the Times said.