It has now been revealed that the Nassau County Crime Lab problems date back to 2003, according to an article published in Newsday over the weekend.
Letters written in 2006 by State Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Chauncey G. Parker to then-Nassau Police Commissioner James Lawrence reveal that an official inspection of the lab in early 2003 had uncovered “‘fifteen findings of noncompliance’ that raised questions about evidence handling and the lab’s ability to resolve them.”
According to Newsday, Parker’s Jan. 5, 2006, letter made it clear that the state’s confidence in the lab was waning. Parker wrote that:
“Continuous correction of so many criteria in noncompliance does not instill confidence in the quality system of the laboratory… We are concerned that our recommendation in 2003 for the establishment of procedures for regular management review to ensure adherence to accreditation criteria have not been met.”
I previously posted on this situation in April. It is troubling why Nassau officials never disclosed that the lab’s problems dated back to 2003. Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice ordered re-testing of cases going back to late 2007. They must have been aware that the problems dated back to 2003.
Hopefully State Inspector General Ellen Biben will get to the bottom of this.
It’s beginning to look like both the problems and the cover-up are more extensive than anyone’s been willing to admit so far.