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Monroe County Laboratory Report

Monroe County Laboratory Report

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Published by Casey Seiler

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Published by: Casey Seiler on Jun 12, 2012
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11/01/2012

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State of New York Office of the Inspector General
Report of Investigationof the Monroe County Public Safety Laboratory
June 2012Catherine Leahy ScottActing State Inspector General
 
 
STAFF FOR THIS INVESTIGATION AND REPORTMICHAEL C. CLARKE
Deputy Inspector General and Chief of Staff 
BERNARD COSENZA
Deputy Inspector General for Investigations
JEFFREY HAGEN
Investigative Counsel
CHARLES TIRONE
Investigator 
MAREN ROBINSON
Investigator 
FELISA HOCHHEISER
Director of Investigative Reporting (New York City)Special Counsel
STEPHEN DEL GIACCO
Director of Investigative Reporting (Albany)2
 
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
An investigation by the New York State Inspector General identified significantfailures in the management of the Monroe County Public Safety Laboratory. TheMonroe County Laboratory provides scientific examination and analysis of forensicevidence for law enforcement and public safety agencies in Rochester, Monroe County,and the surrounding region.The Inspector General found that a Forensic Biologist III at the Monroe CountyLaboratory erroneously reported that a microscope slide bearing evidence in a sex offenseinvestigation was negative for sperm cells. The Laboratory properly identified the error and provided the Forensic Biologist with remedial training and proficiency testing. TheInspector General, however, also found that the Laboratory failed to adequately reviewthe Forensic Biologist’s past work for similar errors. Additionally, the investigationfound that Janet Anderson-Seaquist, the Laboratory Administrator, provided the NewYork State Commission on Forensic Science with inaccurate information regarding thereview and retesting of the Forensic Biologist’s past work.The Inspector General also determined that Monroe County Laboratory ForensicBiology Section Supervisor Laura Ascroft failed to properly document the results of her audit of the Forensic Biologist’s prior casework. The Inspector General found that thisimproper documentation was due in part to deficiencies in the Laboratory’s correctiveaction policy. Accordingly, the Inspector General recommends that the Laboratoryreview this policy to better address similar occurrences in the future.The Inspector General further found that the Monroe County Laboratory, withouthaving conducted any testing, returned evidence in 270 cases which were more than fiveyears old to the law enforcement agencies which had submitted the evidence for DNAanalysis. Along with the returned evidence, the Laboratory issued reports to the agenciesstating, “No analysis performed, since the case is past the statute of limitations. Analysisupon request.” The Inspector General found that in many of these cases the Laboratory’s3

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