Thursday, May 21, 2015
San Francisco Police Department crime lab: SFGATE reports that a crime-lab technician and a supervisor implicated in alleged misconduct that could jeopardize hundreds of criminal cases failed a DNA proficiency exam last year and were barred from processing evidence.
STORY: "Technician, boss in SFPD (San Francisco Police Department) lab scandal flunked DNA skills exam," by reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken, published by SFGATE on March 30, 2015.
GIST: "The San Francisco police crime-lab technician and a supervisor implicated in alleged misconduct that could jeopardize hundreds of criminal cases failed a DNA proficiency exam last year and were barred from processing evidence, documents show. Police Chief Greg Suhr said Monday that authorities were looking at 1,400 criminal cases that were prosecuted in part based on DNA work done by the technician — identified in court records as Mignon Dunbar — and her supervisor, Cherisse Boland. Both are civilian police employees. It’s the latest embarrassment for the crime lab, where the 2010 theft of cocaine evidence by a drug-tester ultimately led to the dismissal of 1,700 criminal cases on which she had worked.“ We’re going to do a complete audit of any work these criminalists touched,” Suhr said of the DNA tests. “If we do discover there’s any problem, all those cases will be reworked until they’re to the appropriate standard.” Suhr said the probe will last about six weeks. In addition, District Attorney George Gascón said he has formed a task force that will look into several recent problems in the police and sheriff’s departments, including the DNA lab issues.........The DNA investigation comes as a national crime-lab accrediting agency is conducting its regular five-year audit of the San Francisco lab. Without accreditation, any DNA findings the lab made in murder, sexual assaults and other criminal cases would be all but useless to prosecutors in court."
Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
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