AG seeks outside probe of Mass. drug lab crisis

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is asking for an independent probe into a state drug lab at the center of a testing scandal.

In a letter Wednesday, Coakley said Gov. Deval (deh-VAL') Patrick should appoint an independent investigator to conduct a broader review of "policies, practices and oversight" at the Hinton lab.

Coakley said her office would continue to handle the ongoing criminal investigation of the now-closed lab.

Annie Dookhan, a former chemist, is accused of skirting protocols and faking drug test results. She has pleaded not guilty to obstructing justice. Officials said Dookhan tested more than 60,000 drug samples involving the criminal cases of about 34,000 individuals over a nine-year period.

The attorney general said an independent probe would assure that the public has confidence in the final conclusions.

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