Mass. Crime lab controversy intensifies

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September 14, 2012

Massachusetts

By: George Sousouris

BOSTON, Massachusetts: Massachusetts agencies have begun firing and dismissing state employees who took part in drug sample tampering in the state's crime lab in Jamaica Plain. On Wednesday, Lab Bureau Chief Dr. Linda Han resigned, while division director Dr. Julie Nassif was fired. Although a name has yet to be released, officials made clear that proceedings are under way to oust Nassif's direct supervisor, as well.[1]

Last June, news broke that chemist Annie Dookhan had broken the chain of custody of samples within the lab, and had performed tests on samples that had never been properly accounted for or signed out. According to state officials, Nassif was notified of the problems regarding lab protocal, but belatedly informed the Department of Public Health. Two weeks ago, Governor Deval Patrick (D) ordered the laboratory to be closed while prosecutors, defense attorneys, and other state investigators determine the extent of Doohkan's damage, especially given the reality that from 2003 to her resignation in March of 2012, she worked on more than 34,000 cases. Due to the size and scope of the investigation, and the potential legal problems regarding adulterated evidence, legislators on Beacon Hill have been notified that they may be called upon to appropriate additional state funding for the investigation.[1]

Dr. Larry Madoff served on be the interim director of the Bureau of Laboratory Sciences.[1]

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