BOSTON (AP) - The chemist at the center of a scandal at the now-closed state drug lab had unauthorized correspondence with a prosecutor whose evidence she analyzed, a newspaper reported.
The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that the sometimes personal phone calls and emails violated protocol and may give defense attorneys grounds to argue additional cases were compromised and should be thrown out.
The Globe reports investigators have concluded Annie Dookhan wasn't romantically involved with Norfolk Assistant District Attorney George Papachristos, but her husband was concerned enough to try to contact him.
Dookhan's attorney did not comment. Papachristos declined to answer the Globe's questions.
Dookhan, 34, of Franklin, is accused of falsifying lab results, and officials say she may have compromised 34,000 cases.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has asked Attorney General Martha Coakley and district attorneys to throw out cases where a prosecutor directly communicated with Dookhan.
"I think it strengthens our argument quite a lot," Matthew Segal, legal director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, said of the contact between Dookhan and Papachristos.
Anne Goldbach, forensic services director for the Committee for Public Counsel Services, said the correspondence between Dookhan and Papachristos "demonstrates that the amount of contact with the prosecution is even greater than we feared."
"Scientists and chemists are supposed to be objective, and they're not supposed to be advocates," she said. "Repeated contact with the prosecution and law enforcement lends itself to bias, whether conscious or subconscious."