IG: Monroe County Crime Lab Mishandled Evidence

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The state’s Inspector General’s Office issued a scathing report today about the troubled Monroe County crime lab, saying its investigation found “improper and irresponsible practices by management” and led to key evidence in criminal cases, including a rape, to be destroyed.

“Forensic laboratories serve a critical function in the criminal justice system. The integrity of our forensic laboratories is essential, and the public deserves full confidence in their results,” said Acting Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott in a statement. “Individuals charged with supervising our labs must be held to the highest standards, which include sound oversight, management and policies.”


From the Democrat and Chronicle article:

Monroe County’s Public Safety Laboratory in 2011 returned DNA evidence to local police agencies in 270 cases, wrongly determining that the statute of limitations had expired, a state watchdog agency has determined.

Lab director Janet Anderson-Seaquist, now on paid suspension, ordered the return of the evidence to help ease the move into the county’s new high-tech crime laboratory on Broad Street, according to the state Office of the Inspector General.

In fact, the county District Attorney’s Office decided in September that “the statute of limitations had not expired in 41 of the cases, and that prosecution remained viable,” states the report, released Tuesday.

In citing “significant failures” by the crime lab, the Inspector General’s Office focused on two allegations examined by its investigators: the return of the DNA evidence; and a lapse by a forensics biologist who wrongly reported that evidence from a sex offense was negative for sperm cells.

In both cases the Inspector General’s Office challenges the leadership of Anderson-Seaquist, claiming that she misled investigating officials about the extent of a remediation plan for the biologist and that she did not seek legal advice before deciding to return the genetic evidence.

Crime Lab Report

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3 Comments

  1. One more thing that I forgot to write: Regarding that “Rape Case and It’s Distriburbing Evidence” of the Occurrence…How are we going to Provide that Victim Justice! It’s good to rights Reports otherwise No one would have known! I am disgusted to learn that In View Of Respect Of Women What are We Doing For Restoring the Honor of That Woman Who was Targeted! The DOJ Must get involved in this matter!

    Rest! Can be talked! But, that matter needs Everyone’s Urgent Attention.

    HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller.

  2. The Report And The Finding of The Acting Inspector General is remarkable in The Eyes of The Rule of Law.
    And, must I Say that the Acting IG has earned Respect and must be Given Formal Appointment to The Position and Office of State of New York Inspector General! Our Country needs such Honest and Law Abiding People in Our Governments accross The Nation. God Bless America.

    HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller.