Massachusetts OIG concludes Annie Dookhan acted alone

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Good evening:

Hi everyone. Not much news to report lately, so we took some time off to work on Crane’s case.

Annie Dookhan is back in the news today. She is the former laboratory technician at the Hinton State Drug Laboratory in Boston, MA who pled guilty last summer to multiple felonies, including tampering with evidence, perjury, obstruction of justice and falsely claiming that she had a masters degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts.

She admitted in court during her guilty plea that she had falsely claimed in many, cases since she started working at the lab in 2003, that she had detected the presence of particular controlled substances in drug exhibits by using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GCMS), which has been the universally accepted methodology used in crime laboratories since the 1970s. Instead, she had based her opinions on her own visual examination of the drug exhibits, which is an unreliable and unacceptable method. Her excuse was GCMS takes too much time.

The court sentenced Dookhan to prison for a term of 3 to 5 years. She will be subject to supervision for a 2 year period after she is released from prison.

I believe this sentence is absurd because it fails to take into account her violation of the public trust and the havoc that she caused to the defendants and their families in the cases that she handled .

CNN reported in November that officials in Governor Deval Patrick’s administration were concerned that more than 40,000 defendants might have been affected by the scandal. Governor Patrick shut down the lab and ordered Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley to commence an investigation to review all of the cases processed by the lab since 2003 to determine (1) whether other laboratory analysts also faked their results and (2) how many defendants were wrongfully convicted.

CNN is reporting today that the Office of the Inspector General has concluded Dookhan acted alone. The OIG report states,

Dookhan was the sole bad actor at the Drug Lab. Though many of the chemists worked alongside Dookhan for years, the OIG (Office of the Inspector General) found no evidence that any other chemist at the Drug Lab committed any malfeasance with respect to testing evidence or knowingly aided Dookhan in committing her malfeasance.

/snip/

The [lab] directors were ill-suited to oversee a forensic drug lab, provided almost no supervision, were habitually unresponsive to chemists’ complaints and suspicions, and severely downplayed Dookhan’s major breach in chain-of-custody protocol upon discovering it.

/snip/

John Auerbach [the former Department of Public Health Commissioner who resigned when the scandal broke] and his staff failed to respond appropriately to the report of Dookhan’s breach of protocol” and “the investigation DPH conducted was far too narrow.

/snip/

all samples in which Dookhan was the primary chemist should be treated as suspect and be subject to careful review.

The Inspector General’s Office will be supervising the retesting of all samples assigned to Dookhan, plus 2,000 additional samples in which other tests were conducted, but the results were not reported.

11 Responses to Massachusetts OIG concludes Annie Dookhan acted alone

  1. bettykath says:

    “In another legal development involving Zimmerman, a judge has set aside a default entered in favor of his wife, Shellie, in their ongoing divorce.”

    I don’t understand. If she already had the divorce, how can it be overturned?

    • Trained Observer says:

      Don’t think the divorce was finalized after the default was entered.

      • bettykath says:

        ok. I thought a default meant that it was over. By the time liar fogen gets done with it, the killing of Trayvon will be Shellie’s fault and he, nice guy that he is, took the fall for her.

  2. Two sides to a story says:

    Best wishes for your ongoing case, Crane!

    Nothing too good for murdering cops and anyone with any connection to a prosecutorial office, apparently. Until hundreds of thousands of Americans care and hit the street in protest, nothing will change.

    Well, Z predictably poked his head out today. Seems he no longer wants to rage against Corey’s machine in order to speed up his NBC case. In a twist of fate, Corey’s office wants Judge Nelson to deny his motion.

    Oh, and he gets to go toe-to-toe equally with Shellie in his divorce case, brave guy.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-zimmerman-gives-up-fight-with-corey-20140304,0,6931564.story

    • Trained Observer says:

      Fogen’s NBC suit won’t go anywhere, no matter what

      But it’s fun to think that Corey’s office will hoist Fogen on his own petard by stringing out his accusations against BDLR, etc. and insisting on going for a ruling in the state’s favor. Hopefully this will leave Fogen and his new lawyer in limbo for a good, long time.

      (That’s tough on Shellie … possibly delaying her divorce efforts, but she should have thought about those apples back in th days when she was sticking by this murderer’s side.)

  3. bettykath says:

    I agree that she got off easy. Multiple felonies and 40,000 cases in question? Sure she isn’t related to a banker? Oh,no, in that case the lab would pay a fine and she would get promoted. Cynicism in high gear tonight.

  4. colin black says:

    Our generation will be known for nothing.
    Never will anybody say.
    We were the peak of mankind.
    That is wrong, the truth is
    Our generation was a failure.
    Thinking that
    But in the reverse direction, the poem reads:
    Thinking that
    Our generation was a failure.
    That is wrong, the truth is
    We were the peak of mankind.
    Never will anybody say,
    Our generation will be known for nothing

    • colin black says:

      Our generation will be known for nothing.
      Never will anybody say.
      We were the peak of mankind.
      That is wrong, the truth is
      Our generation was a failure.
      Thinking that

      But in the reverse direction, the poem reads
      :
      Thinking that
      Our generation was a failure.
      That is wrong, the truth is
      We were the peak of mankind.
      Never will anybody say,
      Our generation will be known for nothing

  5. colin black says:

    Pretending to be qualified with bogus certificates .deceit.an finding gullable people to target Is rappant after all its just another con.

    People pretend to be lawers or builders .Roofers an all along they just blag it with none of the skills they claim to have to pay the bills.

    People pretend to be cosmetic surgeons an inject some women whom whant a huge derrier .bootylicious big butts with rubber sealant.

    One guy was doing lypo suction in your own home without anathsetics.

    His tool an industrial strength vacuum?

    Whatever job there Is there some twat willing to do it with out any clue .
    Neighbourhood watchmen that’s another skill people fake.

    Being able to talk to dead people that’s another skill people claim to be able to do through deceit .

    And of course for thease types to be able to flourish there only real skill is in being able to spot gullable victims.

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