State crime lab closed; possible cover up investigated - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

State crime lab closed; possible cover up investigated

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(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A state lab is shut down after one of its former employees is accused of mishandling drug evidence. And now, some are questioning whether or not administrators tried to cover it up.

In June of last year, managers at the Hinton crime lab in Jamaica Plain discovered record-keeping problems with one chemist.

The chemist has been identified as Annie Dookhan, of Franklin. Dookhan was removed from her testing duties. The state Department of Health wasn't notified until December, nearly seven months later.
    
FOX 25 has obtained a copy of the first letter the lab director sent to the Norfolk County district attorney that appears to downplay the situation.
    
Dated February 1, 2012, it says the problem was confined to only a batch of 90 samples  and that "at this time, there is no evidence that this had an impact on the integrity of the samples or the accuracy of the sample analysis."

Thousands of drug cases from all over the state could have been compromised. Gov. Deval Patrick ordered the lab to temporarily close last Thursday.

The chemist, who resigned in March, could face criminal charges. Her manager and lab supervisor have also been put on leave.
    
There is still no word on an alleged motive.


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