UMass: Chemist In State Drug Lab Scandal Did Not Earn Master’s
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BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The chemist at the center of the state drug lab scandal testified under oath that she holds a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, but school officials said on Tuesday that they have no record of her receiving an advanced degree or taking graduate courses there.
Annie Dookhan also listed working towards a master’s degree from UMass-Boston on multiple resumes.
But officials at UMass-Boston and each of the university’s four other campuses say there is no record of Dookhan receiving a master’s degree from UMass.
Annie Dookhan began working for the state drug lab in 2003. State officials have said Dookhan handled more than 60,000 drug samples involving 34,000 defendants over approximately eight years at the Boston laboratory.
Last month, state police shut down the Boston lab Dookhan worked at, saying she failed to follow testing protocols with drug samples submitted by police departments in criminal cases.
Massachusetts officials identified more than 1,100 defendants serving state sentences based at least in part on drug tests she performed.
State police have not said what Dookhan did wrong at the lab.
But Max Stern, president of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said he was told in a meeting with Gov. Deval Patrick and other administration officials that Dookhan is accused of deliberately tampering with some drug samples, including the weight of the samples, which can affect the length of prison sentences given to people convicted of drug offenses.
Attorney General Martha Coakley is conducting a criminal investigation. Dookhan has not been charged.
Investigators have not described Dookhan’s possible motive for mishandling drug samples. It’s also unclear why she would fabricate having a master’s degree.
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