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Mass. Republicans Call For New Forensic Services Board

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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.

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.

The scandal involving former chemist Annie Dookhan threatens to unravel thousands of criminal cases and cost the state at least $30 million. Dookhan has pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice.

Senate Republican Leader Bruce Tarr says the proposed board would oversee all state facilities that perform drug testing or other forensic services for criminal investigations in Massachusetts.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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