- Associated Press - Thursday, March 10, 2016

BEND, Ore. (AP) - Authorities are investigating a third Oregon state police crime lab after they say an analyst underreported some tests.

The state police forensic division says a former Clackamas lab analyst missed drugs or other substances in urine he tested, The Bend Bulletin reported (https://bit.ly/1QJURrc).

A different forensic analyst is suspected of mishandling evidence in the Bend and Pendleton labs. Those labs have suspended drug testing while authorities investigate.

The former Clackamas analyst started working for the forensic division in 2007 and left in January. He had reviewed cases in every Oregon county except Curry, according to Oregon State Police.

So far the division has re-examined 120 of his cases, and 10 showed potentially unreported compounds. But scientists didn’t find that he reported anything that wasn’t present.



Forensic division Capt. Ted Phillips wrote a letter to district attorneys, informing them of the discovery. He wrote that the division did not find the analyst’s conduct to be criminal.

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said he was told that the analyst missed drugs in two samples from his county. Because the charges were for drug possession, it didn’t affect the cases.

“No one’s perfect, and everyone makes mistakes,” Hummel said.

The forensic division is still reviewing cases where the analyst issued a report. Investigators will first focus on cases where a trial is approaching, then open cases and finally closed cases.

In September, an Oregon State Police forensic analyst was put on paid administrative leave on suspicion of tampering with drug samples. The analyst worked at the Bend state police crime lab and previously the state’s Pendleton crime lab.

Hummel wants to set aside at least seven criminal convictions in cases where that analyst reviewed evidence.

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Information from: The Bulletin, https://www.bendbulletin.com

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