Former prosecutor will lead drug lab review

The state laboratory in Jamaica Plain.
NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

A former prosecutor in Middlesex and Suffolk counties will lead the massive review of thousands of drug samples potentially tainted by the work of a chemist who launched a crisis that has already lead to reduced bails and jail time for alleged drug dealers.

David Meier was appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick today to lead the drug lab central office. He is currently a partner at Todd & Weld LLP and specializes in the areas of criminal defense and government investigations.

Meier begins immediately and will have the necessary personnel and financial resources to stand up the central office, Patrick’s office said today.

The office will be responsible for cross referencing case files from prosecutors and defense attorneys with drug sample, docket number and other identifying information held by the Department of Public Health, the Trial Courts, the correction, parole, probation and youth services department, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other federal partners, according to Patrick’s office.

Cases involving defendants who are currently in jail will be prioritized.

The office, when finished with their work, will provide authorities with a list of impacted cases.

A rogue chemist is accused of mishandling thousands of drug samples that were analyzed at the Jamaica Plain lab. The tainted samples mean there is the potential that countless inmates are wrongly imprisoned.

The chemist has previously been identified as Annie Dookhan of Franklin. State police have said that criminal charges are possible and that the Attorney General’s Office is investigating.

The Jamaica Plain lab handled 8,000 drug cases a year and was previously overseen by the Department of Public Health. It was ordered closed by Patrick. State Police took over that lab and others in July after a move by the Legislature.

Earlier this week, a top state health official resigned over the crisis.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

Music

The Handsome Family on 'True Detective' Emmy and…

When asked to describe The Handsome Family’s latest album, Rennie Sparks channels Rust Cohle of “True Detective.” “A strange problem that humans have is that…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.