Special Unit Formed To Sort Out Mass. Drug Lab Mess
BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick has announced formation of a special unit to sort through tens of thousands of criminal cases that may have been compromised by the mishandling of drug evidence in a now-closed state laboratory.
Mass. Drug Lab Crisis
- 12/17/12: Ex-Chemist Dookhan Is Indicted
- 1/25/13: DAs Struggle To Deal With Cases
- 1/31/13: Lawyers Say Crisis Could Widen
- 2/8/13: DA Leone: Wider Range Of Cases May Be Dismissed
- 2/21/13: Mass. High Court Expected To Hear Drug Lab Appeal Case In April
- 4/2/13: Photos Reveal Sloppy Conditions At Lab
- 11/1/12: Editorial: What Did Prosecutors Know?
- 2/6/13: Editorial: The Massive Failures Of Many Collided In A Perfect Storm
- Timeline: Drug Lab Crisis
- Graphic: Annie Dookhan’s Drug Findings
Complete Coverage: State Drug Lab Crisis
The governor on Thursday named attorney David Meier to head the so-called “boiler room” operation. Meier is a former prosecutor in Middlesex and Suffolk counties.
Patrick said in a statement that the unit will be a “clearinghouse” for information on cases impacted by the mishandling of evidence at the Boston lab, which was formerly operated by the Department of Public Health.
“Is it a challenge? Yes,” Meier said. “But as the governor said, this is about getting it right. And no one’s putting a timeline on it. We’re gonna get to work tomorrow morning and I’m confident that we will get it right.”
Patrick ordered the lab closed in August, less than two months after it was transferred to the control of the Massachusetts State Police.
Authorities have blamed the problems on a single chemist, Annie Dookhan, but have not said exactly what she is accused of doing or cited a possible motive.
With additional reporting by the WBUR Newsroom