Gov. Deval Patrick has tapped the state's inspector general to lead a wide-ranging probe of the State Drug Lab, where evidence in thousands of cases may have been compromised.
"The governor called for an independent assessment of the drug lab to complement the ongoing criminal and central office investigations into chemist Annie Dookhan’s wrongdoing and to determine whether the lab’s failures are limited to Dookhan and her supervisors and managers, all of whom have been removed from their positions," the governor's office said in a statement.
Inspector General Glenn Cunha, a former managing attorney at the Attorney General's office, will look at systemic issues while the attorney general herself, Martha Coakley, focuses solely on criminal prosecution of Dookhan.
Legal defense and civil liberties groups had called on Coakley to divorce herself from the larger probe, arguing that since she supports drug prosecutions, her office could not avoid the perception of a conflict of interest.
Disgraced chemist Dookhan is suspected of tainting in perhaps 60,000 drug samples during her nine-year career at the Drug Lab. So far, the Franklin resident has been charged with two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of falsifying college records by claiming a Master's Degree she does not have. She pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on bail.