Annie Dookhan And The Massachusetts Drug Lab Crisis

Mass. GOP Lawmakers Call For Health Secretary’s Resignation


BOSTON — Republicans in the Massachusetts House are calling for the departure of JudyAnn Bigby, the state’s health and human services secretary.

In a letter sent on Thursday to Gov. Deval Patrick, House Republicans cited “poor management” in the aftermath of two recent crises: The alleged tampering with drug tests at a former Department of Public Health lab, and a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to a Framingham compounding pharmacy that was regulated by the state.

Minority Leader Brad Jones said at a news conference on Thursday that the agency “desperately” needs new leadership.

“This is about moving an agency forward that desperately needs to regain the public trust on many, many fronts and feeling that we need to go in a dramatically different direction,” Jones said.

The GOP called on Patrick to remove Bigby if she does resign.

A spokesman for the secretary said Bigby serves at the pleasure of the governor and will continue to take the necessary steps to restore public confidence in the agency.

A spokeswoman for Patrick then said in a statement that the governor has confidence in Bigby’s ability to fix what went wrong and restore public confidence in the department.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom


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March 5, 2014

SJC Sets ‘Presumption’ Of Misconduct In Dookhan-Related Guilty Pleas

BOSTON — The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Wednesday that defendants seeking to withdraw guilty pleas because their cases were handled by disgraced former state chemist Annie Dookhan must indicate they would have insisted on a trial if they knew about her malfeasance.

March 4, 2014

Dookhan Was Drug Lab’s ‘Sole Bad Actor,’ Report Says

BOSTON — “However … deficiencies at the Drug Lab created an atmosphere that allowed for [Annie] Dookhan to commit her crimes,” the state inspector general wrote in his review.

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