The Houston Police Department will review about 200 narcotics cases following the suspension of a crime laboratory analyst accused of failing to properly secure evidence in drug investigations, reports the city’s Chronicle. James Carpenter was relieved of duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation. The news comes in the wake of a two-year, multimillion-dollar independent investigation that reported widespread problems within the department’s crime lab, including poor management, analysts who faked test results and others who tailored their findings to fit police theories.
Carpenter worked regularly in the controlled substances section of the lab since October 2002. Investigators were called to the lab last week following reports that Carpenter “was not handling evidence in compliance with lab protocols.” The criminologist was immediately relieved of duty after refusing to give a formal statement or submit to a drug test, police said.