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A WBUR SPECIAL REPORT

BadChemistry

Annie Dookhan And The Massachusetts Drug Lab Crisis

Mass. Senate Approves Supplemental Budget Bill

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BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate has approved a budget bill that includes $30 million to cover costs stemming from a drug testing scandal.

The supplemental spending measure would also freeze unemployment insurance rates for businesses and transfer funds from the state’s “rainy day” fund to offset a projected tax revenue shortfall.

The Senate approved the bill on a 36-1 vote Tuesday. The House approved the budget last week.

Annie Dookhan, a former chemist at a now-closed state drug lab in Boston, has pleaded not guilty to 27 counts of wrongdoing that includes fabricating drug test results and tampering with evidence.

Thousands of drug convictions are being reviewed.

The budget would divert $30 million in one-time tax settlements that otherwise would have been deposited into the state’s rainy day fund to cover initial expenses associated with the probe.

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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.