08-10-2020  3:27 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Black Portlanders Struggle to be Heard Amid Protests

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing Steering Committee will meet Tuesday, August 11, 2020 from 5:30 –7pm

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Reimagine Oregon Issues Equity Demands, Gains Legislative Support

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — This year's Washington state apple crop is expected to be slightly larger than the 2019 crop.The Washington State Tree Fruit Association estimates the 2020 crop will total 134 million standard forty-pound boxes of fresh apples. That's just above 2019’s total of...

LSU adds Missouri, Vanderbilt in revamped SEC schedule

Defending Southeastern Conference and national champion LSU will host Missouri and visit Vanderbilt in its expanded Southeastern Conference schedule, while Alabama will visit Mizzou and host Kentucky in league play revised by the coronavirus pandemic. The league on Friday released two additional...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...


Historians Offer Context, Caution on Lessons 1918 Flu Pandemic Holds for COVID

Scholars find parallels of inequitable suffering between pandemic of 1918 and pandemic of 2020 ...

US Reps Adams and DeFazio Call on Postmaster General to Resign

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Da 5 Bloods and America Abroad

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Falling Behind: COVID, Climate Change, and Chaos

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Report: Agency in Alabama city segregated public housing

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UConn's Bueckers marches for her little brother's future

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Trump, coaches push for college football as cracks emerge

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55 years after riots, Watts section of LA still bears scars

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McDonald's sues ousted CEO, alleging employee relationships

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El Salvador waits for president, congress to act on pandemic

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Pandemic wrecks global Class of 2020's hopes for first job

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Protester dies in clashes after disputed Belarus vote

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Brittany Brady CNN

(CNN) -- The former Massachusetts state chemist who has admitted to wrongdoing during her nine-year employment with the Department of Public Health also misled her employers when applying for the job, the department said.

Annie Dookhan, who lied and said she had a master's degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, was hired in 2003 as a Chemist I and was reclassified as a Chemist II in 2005, the health department said.

"While neither of the positions she held required a master's degree, it is now clear that she intentionally misled the department about her education during the course of her employment," the statement said.

Massachusetts authorities will review of 1,140 people who are serving prison sentences after being convicted with evidence at least partly provided by Dookhan, whose work with criminal evidence is under investigation, according to the attorney appointed by the Massachusetts governor to lead the Department of Public Health drug lab review.

Dookhan has admitted to wrongdoing, but Gov. Deval Patick's office said it cannot reveal any more details about her confession during the ongoing investigation. She faces possible criminal charges pending an investigation by the Attorney General's Office.

A preliminary investigation looked into every case Dookhan may have touched from 2003 until she left in March, Terrel Harris, communications director for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, said Tuesday. It is possible she touched 60,000 samples that were involved in 34,000 drug cases.

State Police and the Attorney General's office are working together to investigate each case Dookhan was involved with during her nine years with the state lab, said Kim Haberlin, the governor's press secretary.

Patrick appointed David Meier, a defense attorney and former prosecutor, to run the "central office," which is a clearinghouse for all the information connected to the 34,000 cases touched by Dookhan, Haberlin said Tuesday. Meier will collect the information to give to prosecutors and defense attorneys involved with each case.

"That's not to say their convictions were improper or wrong," Haberlin said.

On Monday, Meier presented a list of 690 people serving sentences in state prisons and 450 who are imprisoned in county jails whose trials were potentially tainted by the mishandling of drug evidence.

According to a letter from Meier to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr., 22 of those individuals may also be facing deportation or related immigration proceedings as a result of the outcome of their trial.

David Traub, spokesperson for the Norfolk District Attorney, compared the Massachusetts judicial system to a computer destroyed by a virus. In many cases, the drug charges were clustered with others. Each case will have to be deconstructed and sentences will have to be redefined according to the results of the investigation for those in prison first, and then those who have already served their time, he said. "The layers of mess cannot be overstated."

The Norfolk District Attorney's Office supports those incarcerated who are trying to get out on bail until the investigation is finished, he said. "We don't get to argue that someone should stay in jail if the evidence is tainted against them."

Those who are in jail on other charges, such as gun possession, will not be let out, though, he said.

State police were tipped off in July by Dookhan's co-workers at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory in Jamaica Plain that Dookhan's work might be unreliable, Harris said. At the time, state police were taking over what had previously been a Department of Public Health drug laboratory, which certified random drug tests for the police departments in Norfolk, Suffolk, Middlesex and Bristol counties, as well as for Cape Cod and the islands. The takeover was part of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.

"When they were getting ready to take over the lab, they learned through conversations with other employees who were afraid to verify the work of their colleague," Harris said. Dookhan was no longer an employee of the laboratory at the time, having left in March. Patrick ordered the lab to be shut on August 30 after the extent of Dookhan's mishandlings were realized, a representative from his office said.

Dr. Linda Han, director of the Bureau of Laboratory Sciences, resigned as a result of the investigation, while Julie Nassif, director of the analytical chemistry division, was fired. Dookhan's immediate supervisor, who has not been identified, faces disciplinary proceedings, and the governor's office said it is seeking termination there as well.

CNN's Chris Boyette contributed to this story.

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