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A WBUR SPECIAL REPORT

BadChemistry

Annie Dookhan And The Massachusetts Drug Lab Crisis

Mass. Fires Chemist Over Academic Credentials

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Massachusetts State Police have fired an analyst who worked at a state drug lab after questions arose about her academic credentials.

State officials say Kate Corbett claimed she had a chemistry degree from Merrimack College, though investigators determined that her degree is in sociology. Although she took some chemistry coursework, she did not earn a degree in chemistry.

Corbett worked in the same lab as Annie Dookhan, who was sentenced to prison after admitting to faking test results. Corbett has not been accused of tampering with evidence.

The president of a state employees union tells The Boston Globe that Corbett is “highly competent” and is challenging her termination.

Defense lawyers say if she testified in court cases that she had a chemistry degree, it opens the door to legal challenges.

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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.