The head of the Indiana department responsible for analyzing blood samples in drunken-driving cases has resigned amid a review of complaints, including long delays, sloppy work and failure to perform inspections required by law, reports the Indianapolis Star. The paper says the problems have resulted in dismissed cases and additional costs to taxpayers. The department was also facing conflict-of-interest complaints because its website offers employees as expert witnesses who can be hired by defense attorneys.
A spokeswoman said Michael A. Wagner, director of the Indiana State Department of Toxicology, had resigned “to devote more time to research.” She said Indiana University could not offer more details because it’s a personnel matter. Wagner will remain on the faculty of the Indiana University School of Medicine, which runs the state toxicology department. Michael F. Neerman, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology, will be interim director of the department. An “assessment team” that has been examining the toxicology department was to meet with IU officials Friday.