The FBI has denied any political role or procedural violation in the fight between New Mexico and the city of Albuquerque over moving a police DNA lab to Santa Fe in the waning days of Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration, reports KRQE-TV in Albuquerque. Incoming Gov. Susana Martinez, who takes office Saturday, has described the move of the DNA database from Albuquerque to the state crime lab in Santa Fe as a wasteful political maneuver.
State Public Safety Secretary John Denko said the shift is intended to save money and speed up by weeks the processing of DNA samples, which the Albuquerque lab sends out of state for analysis. Martinez has vowed to move the federally funded computer server and files back to the Albuquerque Police Department crime lab after she takes office. The FBI, which hired a contractor who moved the server holding DNA records to Santa Fe yesterday, said the bureau’s role in the affair is being misinterpreted by some news organizations. “The FBI has no role in determining the location of each state's DNA database,” the FBI said. statement released by the FBI National Press Office late Wednesday said. “Media reports that suggest that the move is ‘outside of standard protocol’ are inaccurate.” Still in the Albuquerque lab are 70,000 paper records. The city of Albuquerque has taken the position that as evidence in criminal cases, those records must be inventoried before they can be relocated, a process city officials say could take weeks.