Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sonja Farak: Massachusetts: (From our 'wish I would have thought of that' department): Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan calls the lack of drug screens for evidence tamperer Sonja Farak and other chemists at Amherst lab 'a disgrace';

STORY: "Northwestern DA David Sullivan: Lack of drug screens for evidence tamperer Sonja Farak and other chemists at Amherst lab 'a disgrace,' by reporter Buffy Spencer, published by  'Mass Live' on May 5, 2016.

PHOTO CAPTION: "Sonja Farak wipes away tears as she is sentenced in Hampshire Superior Court in January, 2014, after pleading guilty to tampering with drug evidence while working in state drug lab in Amherst."

GIST: Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan has called the fact that no drug lab chemist, including Sonja Farak, was ever randomly drug screened at the Amherst state drug testing lab "a disgrace." Sullivan issued a statement after newly released investigation reports showed Farak, who pleaded guilty two years ago to tampering with evidence, began using drugs from the now-closed Amherst facility as early as 2004."

The entire story can be found at:

See Mass Live's presentation of  five "takeaway's" from the D.A.s report at the link below: "Former state crime laboratory chemist Sonja Farak, who pleaded guilty two years ago to tampering with evidence, began using drugs from the now-closed Amherst facility as early as 2004, according to court documents. Hampden Superior Court Judge Richard J. Carey on Tuesday ordered the release of previously impounded documents, including a report done by the state attorney general's office. Farak, who had already been convicted of drug tampering at the time, testified under an immunity agreement at the grand jury convened by the AG's office. In January 2014, Farak was given an 18-month jail sentence after admitting she stole some of the cocaine she was supposed to be testing. Hampshire Superior Court Judge Mary-Lou Rup also ordered Farak, of Northampton, to serve five years of probation and perform 500 hours of community service following release from custody.
The following are five key revelations from the attorney general's report....3. Security at the lab was nonexistent, the report says:  "Hanchett told the grand jury he voiced concerns to the state Department of Public Health about the lack of security. In fact, the Morrill Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which housed the lab, also contained an auditorium that was used by UMass students on the next floor. Access to the lab was possible by use of a key or a swipe card that was given to each employee. Employees could use the key or swipe card interchangeably and the swipe card did not keep a record of the employees who entered or their entry time. There were no security cameras in the lab. Every chemist had access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Every chemist also had access to all the work stations, the work station safe where the lab kept samples overnight if they were still being tested, the drug vault, the standards cabinet, the standards refrigerator, and the computer inventory system.";postID=7683835992297352769;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=2;src=link

See WCVB story on Hampton District Attorneys promise to review cases involving Farak at the link below: "The Hampden County District Attorney has promised a "thorough and objective review" of all cases involving a former chemist who was high almost every day she went to work at an Amherst drug lab for eight years. The Springfield Republican reports District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said Thursday that several thousand cases are potentially affected by Sonja Farak's misconduct."


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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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