Mass. officials to broaden probe of drug lab


Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has agreed to broaden an investigation into a state drug lab that was shut down last month after authorities discovered a chemist had been deliberately mishandling samples.

Coakley’s office is conducting a criminal investigation into the actions of chemist Annie Dookhan.

Gov. Deval Patrick announced Thursday that he has asked Coakley to conduct a separate review to determine if any problems identified at the Hinton State Laboratory Institute could have affected the reliability of drug testing in cases beyond those handled by Dookhan.

In a letter to district attorneys and the state’s public defender agency, First Assistant Attorney General Edward Bedrosian Jr. said there is no reason to believe other chemists were involved in deliberate mishandling of evidence.

Coakley’s office plans to hire independent forensic experts to conduct an assessment of results.

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