massachusetts drug lab http://wamc.org en ACLU Asks Mass. Supreme Court to Hear Drug Scandal Cases http://wamc.org/post/aclu-asks-mass-supreme-court-hear-drug-scandal-cases <p></p><p>BOSTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is asking the state's highest court to get involved in a state drug lab scandal that threatens to derail thousands of criminal cases.</p><p></p><p>The ACLU is asking the Supreme Judicial Court to find that all defendants whose cases were handled by former state chemist Annie Dookhan have a presumptive right to have their sentences put on hold while motions for new trials are pending.</p><p>Dookhan is accused of faking test results and tampering with evidence.</p> Thu, 07 Mar 2013 02:00:00 +0000 Lucas Willard 59286 at http://wamc.org ACLU Asks Mass. Supreme Court to Hear Drug Scandal Cases Mass. Chemists Paid to Stay Home Despite Backlog http://wamc.org/post/mass-chemists-paid-stay-home-despite-backlog <p></p><p><font color="000000" size="2"><span style=""><span style=""><span style="line-height:115%; font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">BOSTON (AP) — Thirteen employees of a now-closed Massachusetts drug lab are receiving full salaries and benefits even </span></span>though they have been unable to work as an investigation into the actions of one of their fellow chemists continues. </span></font></p><p></p> Mon, 11 Feb 2013 23:00:00 +0000 Lucas Willard 57599 at http://wamc.org Mass. Chemists Paid to Stay Home Despite Backlog Mass. Republicans Call For New Forensic Services Board http://wamc.org/post/mass-republicans-call-new-forensic-services-board <p></p><p>BOSTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers are calling for creation of a new state board to oversee forensic services facilities after a former chemist was accused of tampering with drug evidence at a state lab.</p><p></p><p>The proposal announced on Wednesday by the four GOP members of the state Senate would create a five-member oversight panel consisting of the secretary of public safety, the attorney general, the state inspector general, the head of the state police and one gubernatorial appointee.</p> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 03:00:00 +0000 Lucas Willard 55908 at http://wamc.org Mass. Republicans Call For New Forensic Services Board Ex-Mass. chemist arraigned in drug lab case http://wamc.org/post/ex-mass-chemist-arraigned-drug-lab-case <p></p><p>WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — A former Massachusetts chemist accused of faking test results at a state drug lab has pleaded not guilty to three counts of obstruction of justice at the first of two scheduled arraignments.</p><p>Neither Annie Dookhan nor her lawyer commented after her appearance Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court.</p><p>She is scheduled to be arraigned on two more counts of the same charge later Wednesday in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham.</p><p>She had previously pleaded not guilty to similar charges in Suffolk Superior Court, where she was freed on $10,000 bail.</p> Wed, 09 Jan 2013 15:26:10 +0000 Associated Press 55367 at http://wamc.org Ex-Mass. chemist arraigned in drug lab case Republican Lawmakers Call for Departure of Mass. Sec. of Health and Human Services http://wamc.org/post/republican-lawmakers-call-departure-mass-sec-health-and-human-services <p>Republicans in the state Legislature in Massachusetts are calling for the departure of JudyAnn Bigby, the state's health and human services secretary.</p><p>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.</p> Fri, 30 Nov 2012 03:00:00 +0000 Lucas Willard 53002 at http://wamc.org 195 Released from Prison as Result of Mass. Drug Lab Scandal http://wamc.org/post/195-released-prison-result-mass-drug-lab-scandal <p></p><p></p><p>Nearly 200 people have been released from prison and their cases put on hold as a result of a Massachusetts state drug testing lab scandal.&nbsp;</p><p>Public Safety Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan told lawmakers at a public hearing Wednesday that while investigators are looking at about 34,000 cases overall, 195 individuals have been released, 79 in Boston.</p><p>Heffernan said their release doesn't mean they have been exonerated.</p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 05:00:00 +0000 Lucas Willard 52901 at http://wamc.org 195 Released from Prison as Result of Mass. Drug Lab Scandal Gov. Patrick Orders "File by File Review" in Drug Lab Scandal http://wamc.org/post/gov-patrick-orders-file-file-review-drug-lab-scandal <p></p><p></p><p>Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has ordered a "file by file review" of every case handled by a state chemist accused of faking test results at a now-closed government lab.&nbsp;</p><p>Annie Dookhan allegedly skirted protocols and manipulated drug samples at a former Department of Health drug lab where she worked for nine years. The alleged misconduct has threatened to unravel thousands of criminal cases.</p> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 05:00:00 +0000 Lucas Willard 52816 at http://wamc.org Gov. Patrick Orders "File by File Review" in Drug Lab Scandal Massachusetts Gov. Seeking Millions to Cover Costs from Drug Lab Scandal http://wamc.org/post/massachusetts-gov-seeking-millions-cover-costs-drug-lab-scandal <p></p><p></p><p>The Governor of Massachusetts is seeking $30 million to cover the initial costs resulting from the testing scandal at a state drug lab.&nbsp;</p><p>The governor's top budget official, Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez, said an appropriations bill would be filed with the Legislature on Thursday requesting the money.</p><p>Gonzalez says he expects the $30 million to cover costs for at least the next several months for courts, prosecutors, public defenders and other agencies that are dealing with the fallout from the drug lab crisis.</p> Thu, 01 Nov 2012 04:00:00 +0000 Lucas Willard 51055 at http://wamc.org Massachusetts Gov. Seeking Millions to Cover Costs from Drug Lab Scandal Criminal freed over Mass. lab scandal is fugitive http://wamc.org/post/criminal-freed-over-mass-lab-scandal-fugitive <p>Authorities say a career criminal whose bail on drug charges was reduced because of allegations of mishandling of drug samples by a Massachusetts chemist has failed to show up for court and is now a fugitive.</p><p>Marcus Pixley's bail was originally $5,000 cash after he was charged with possession and intent to distribute crack cocaine.</p><p>His bail was reduced to $1,000 because the drugs were tested by Annie Dookhan, a state chemist charged in a scandal that has potentially put thousands of drug cases in jeopardy.</p> Fri, 05 Oct 2012 04:00:00 +0000 Lucas Willard 49285 at http://wamc.org