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Patrick Expects Criminal Charges In State Drug Lab Scandal

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says he expects criminal charges will be brought in an investigation of misconduct by a state lab chemist who admitted faking drug sample results, forging signatures and skipping proper procedures.

WBZ News Radio 1030′s Jim Smith reports

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Patrick said he shut down the drug lab soon after learning of admissions chemist Annie Dookhan made during an interview with state police at the end of August. The governor said he finds it troubling that Dookhan and her supervisors “did not seem to understand the gravity of this.”

State police say Dookhan tested more than 60,000 drug samples covering 34,000 defendants during her nine years at the lab. She resigned in March during an internal investigation.

The scandal has thrown thousands of drug convictions into question. Already, judges have reduced bail and put sentences on hold in approximately 20 cases handled by Dookhan.

The state’s Secretary of Health and Human services, Dr. MaryAnn Bigby, noted on Thursday that there were no other chemists directly involved in the scandal, but she said the lab Dookhan worked in was not well-managed.

“There were red flags that should have identified there was a problem with this particular chemist there, but it was poor management and poor supervision,” Bigby said.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager contributed to this report

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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