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‘Shortcuts’ by NYPD Lab Tech Could Put Thousands of Cases in Doubt

Posted May 11, 2010 2:28 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The alleged sloppy work habits of a longtime New York City police lab technician has reportedly put thousands of criminal cases in doubt.

The technician, who has been suspended without pay, is accused in one instance of slapping a positive label on a 39th drug sample, which initially tested negative, to avoid the work of retesting it after 38 prior samples in the set tested positive, the New York Post reports.

"Shortcuts were done in lieu of retesting," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the New York Post. "It's not acceptable to take these shortcuts."

Meanwhile, a Bronx drug trial in which she was supposed to testify last week screeched to a halt and the police department has notified district attorneys throughout the city telling them to check to see whether evidence in their felony cases came from the technician.

"It could potentially be hundreds and maybe thousands of cases that need to be looked at because of how long she's been in the department," an unidentified source tells the newspaper, referring to both pending cases and closed cases.

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