Outgoing Mass. official addresses lab shutdown

Sep 19, 2012

The outgoing head of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health department says he believes a "single rogue chemist" was responsible for the mishandling of drug evidence at a now-closed state laboratory.

Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach spoke to reporters on Wednesday for the first time since announcing plans to resign in the wake of the scandal.

Auerbach said he personally accepted no responsibility for what occurred, but thought it proper to resign because as head of the agency, the buck stopped with him.

Auerbach shed no new light on the investigation into the mishandling of evidence by the chemist, Annie Dookhan, or a possible motive.

He faulted managers at the lab for not heeding warning signs that problems might go deeper after a single incident involving Dookhan surfaced in June 2011.

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