Over 40,000 Cases Tainted By “Rogue Chemist”

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guset Blogger

dookhanAnnie Dookhan was a chemist in a Massachusetts Department of Public Health drug-testing lab located in the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute in Jamaica Plain. Dookhan has been indicted on 27 charges including fabricating test results and tampering with drug evidence. Dookhan allegedly told state police that she’d test a few samples but then list them all as positive, and sometimes would take cocaine from another sample and add to a sample that tested negative so it would test positive. Authorities have since shut down the lab. Dookhan has pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice and is free on $10,000 cash bail.

The administration of Governor Deval Patrick has hired Boston defense attorney David Meier to determine the scope of the scandal. The state has agreed to pay Meier’s law firm, Todd & Weld, $12,500 a month. The state has also set aside $30 million for Dookhan-related costs. The costs of the scandal may reach $100 million.

Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association referred to the “unconscionable level of gross negligence at the state drug lab.” Everybody’s outraged, now. But back then, the police were happy, the prosecutors were happy, and the drug lab bosses were happy.

The drive to convict those who have been arrested pressures the lab technicians to produce the desired results. Prosecutors are corrupted by their ambition and passion for convictions. Woe to those who stand in their way. Dookhan “was the most productive chemist” at the lab testing up to 500 samples per month while others tested 50 to 150 samples.

E-mails between Dookhan and Norfolk Assistant ­District Attorney George ­Papachristos, showing a flirtatious relationship, have led to Papachristos’ resignation. Other e-mails show Debra Payton, a Norfolk County assistant district attorney called herself a Dookhan “hog” because she was eager to get Dookhan’s help analyzing drug samples. Allison Callahan, a Suffolk assistant district attorney, praised Dookhan’s help on a big marijuana case and suggested a celebratory meeting at an upscale bar. The chemists testing the drug samples should be assigned cases randomly.

Drug lab technicians should be frequently subjected to independent, undercover, double blind testing. There should be double blind testing of chemists in every drug lab in the United States. Where are the calls for double blind testing of chemists in all the labs in Massachusetts? Crickets.

H/T: Charles P. Pierce, David Abel, John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane, Denise Lavoie, David Abel and John R. Ellement.

54 thoughts on “Over 40,000 Cases Tainted By “Rogue Chemist”

  1. Anonymously Yours,

    Many drug dealers were major campaign contributors to one Wayne County mayor. This mayor stopped his honest Police Chief from raiding several well known drug houses, one of which that periodically housed half of the 17 “9-11” terrorists (including Mohamed Atta). But no police agency would take on this mayor because he was the head of the US Conference of Mayors, and he regularly dined with Detroit’s organized crime top boss. Remember what happened to the Kennedy boys when they tried to take on organized crime.

  2. If I recall he was not mayor in 2001 it was Dennis Archer….Young was no one to mess with that’s for sure…. I disagree …Saul Green took on the mayor quite often…. You make blanket ascertations with no proof…..

  3. Anonymously Yours,

    This was another Wayne County mayor, not any of Detroit’s mayors.

    BTW, Dennis Archer was a good mayor, but sadly he did not run for a second term due to threats.

  4. Anonymously Yours,

    Wayne County is made up of several cities that have mayors, one of which is Detroit. Detroit is not the only city in Wayne County that has had corrupt mayors.

    This other mayor was like Young, “no one to mess with that’s for sure” parroting your words above, because no one cared.

  5. CY,

    Yes indeed Wayne county has many different cities….are you speaking of Westland? Royal Oak?

    They both have strong union ties…. Some might even say that they bring in the enforcers from macomb county….. You know like the likes of Hoffa…. Tell me which city…. I’m interested….

  6. Anonymously Yours,

    Dearborn, since you wanted to know “which city.”

    What are the FACTs about cities with “strong union ties” …. “enforcers from macomb county” ….. “likes of Hoffa”…. ? …. I’m interested ….

  7. You talking about Hubbard….if you are from there…. Then you know what I’m saying…. You don’t want to drop a plate in Greek town…. It might be your last one…

  8. Anonymously Yours,

    Mayor Hubbard left office in 1977. 2 other mayors were running Dearborn and responsible in 2001. One of these 2 mayors is still in charge today.

    What do you mean by “You don’t want to drop a plate in Greek town…. It might be your last one.”

    What are the FACTs about cities with “strong union ties” …. “enforcers from macomb county” ….. “likes of Hoffa”…. ? …. I’m interested ….

  9. Anonymously Yours,

    I apologize for not knowing, but please explain what do you mean by “You don’t want to drop a plate in Greek town…. It might be your last one.”

    What are the FACTs about cities with “strong union ties” …. “enforcers from macomb county” ….. “likes of Hoffa”…. ? …. I’m interested ….

  10. Coleman,

    Like I said… If you’re really from that area… There’s no reason for any explanation from me….

  11. Dookhan Pleads Guilty, Gets 3-5 Years In Prison:

    Disgraced former state chemist Annie Dookhan is now behind bars, after she pleaded guilty Friday to all 27 counts against her related to the drug lab crisis.

    Dookhan showed little emotion and spoke softly as she pleaded guilty.

    After accepting Dookhan’s plea, Judge Carol Ball sentenced her to three to five years in state prison in Framingham.

    Prosecutors had sought a five- to seven-year sentence. Dookhan had sought a one-year sentence.

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