Home

menu
A WBUR SPECIAL REPORT

BadChemistry

Annie Dookhan And The Massachusetts Drug Lab Crisis

Emails Show Mass. Slow To React To Drug Lab Scandal

News

BOSTON — Emails show that the state did not launch a full review into a Massachusetts lab at the center of a drug testing scandal until seven months after officials learned a chemist had mishandled at least 90 drug samples.

The emails obtained by The Boston Herald show former Department of Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach and his boss, Secretary of Health and Human Services JudyAnn Bigby, didn’t launch a full internal review of the lab, its management and the circumstances that allowed the chemist to allegedly tamper with evidence, until Aug. 31.

That’s seven months after they learned chemist Annie Dookhan had allegedly mishandled drug samples.

A Bigby spokesman said in a statement Tuesday that “the Secretary needed the precise facts to determine how to respond effectively,” to the scandal.

Comments

Latest News

October 23, 2014

SJC To Hear Petition To Dismiss Convictions Tied To Dookhan

BOSTON — The ACLU is asking the state’s highest court to dismiss tens of thousands of criminal convictions tied to former state chemist Annie Dookhan, who admitted to tampering with evidence.

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.