BOSTON (WWLP) — An outgoing Massachusetts official is speaking publicly about the state crime lab scandal for the first time.
Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach said heâ€™s â€śfuriousâ€ť that the actions of a â€śrogueâ€ť chemist have triggered a
major crime lab scandal.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Auerbach said as head of the Department of Public Health, his resignation was appropriate. As early as June 2011, he said a chemist was found to have mishandled drug samples at the state crime lab, but at the time it was thought to be limited to a single incident.
It wasnâ€™t until a year later, when the lab was transferred to the state police, that the problem was discovered to have potentially affected 60,000 samples.
â€śI accept no responsibility for the actions of a rogue chemist,â€ť Auerbach said, â€śbut I do think that the Department of Public Healthâ€™s manager erred in lacking proper oversight of the forensic drug laboratory, and at the Department of Public Health, the buck stops with me.â€ť
Auerbach criticized managers at the lab for making bad judgment calls, but gave no new information on the investigation status of the lab.
In the coming weeks, Auerbach will transition out of the job. He has already accepted a position at Northeastern University.
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