Wednesday, July 10, 2019

More fallout from the drug lab scandal

I wonder how many more prosecutors from our state courts knew about x drug lab employee Sonja Farak. 

By Shawn Musgrave Globe Correspondent,July 9, 2019, 6:38 p.m.

Three former prosecutors accused of misconduct in drug-lab scandal

This involves the Sonja Farak state drug-lab scandal, not to be confused with the Annie Dookhan state crime-lab scandal. From the Globe’s Shawn Musgrave: “Allegations of official misconduct have been filed against three former state prosecutors related to the Amherst drug-lab scandal. The state body that investigates lawyers alleges the attorneys, two of whom currently work for government agencies, withheld evidence from defendants, district attorneys, and a judge.”

The first attorney facing potential discipline, Anne Kaczmarek, spearheaded the prosecution of Farak. Kaczmarek left the attorney general’s office in 2014 and was employed as an assistant clerk magistrate in Suffolk County until November 2018. The Office of the Bar Counsel claims that Kaczmarek knew about evidence documenting Farak’s therapy for substance abuse and made “materially misleading” statements about this evidence to district attorneys.
In June, a federal appeals court refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Kaczmarek filed by a man who was convicted on drug charges based on Farak’s tainted laboratory analysis. Evidence reviewed by Kaczmarek indicated Farak had used narcotics the day she tested samples in the man’s case. The First Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Kaczmarek’s argument that she was immune from such lawsuits as a government attorney.
 “There were a series of systemic failures in the way the state handled the drug lab scandals,” said Thomas Kiley, Kaczmarek’s attorney. “Holding individual assistant attorneys general responsible for systemic failures is a questionable public policy.”
The second former prosecutor, Kris Foster, was tasked with responding to subpoenas for evidence regarding the state’s criminal investigation of Farak. Foster is currently general counsel at the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.
The bar counsel alleges Foster intentionally misled a judge in September 2013 in a letter suggesting she had reviewed the evidence against Farak and found that all relevant documents were disclosed to drug-case defendants. Foster previously acknowledged her letter was intentionally vague, but said she was following orders from her supervisors in the attorney general’s office.
“It is well settled that a junior lawyer is entitled to follow the reasonable instructions of her supervisor and to rely upon the information provided by her client,” said George Berman, Foster’s attorney. “This is exactly what Ms. Foster did, and she did not violate any ethical rule by doing so.”
Last year, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit filed against Foster by the same plaintiff who is suing Kaczmarek.
The last former prosecutor facing potential discipline, John Verner, supervised both Kaczmarek and Foster as chief of the attorney general’s Criminal Bureau. Verner joined the Suffolk County district attorney’s office in 2016.
The bar counsel alleges Verner failed to take appropriate remedial action once he had become aware that evidence about Farak had not been disclosed.


At July 10, 2019 at 1:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

why am I not surprised by this story? just a bunch more state employees doing questionable things while being paid by the state. seems that being unethical is a requirement to be employed by the sate of MA

At July 10, 2019 at 1:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help me Rhonda! What the hell is going on with our criminal justice system? Seems that cops and prosecutors get to walk away with no consequences and ma and pa citizen get stiff sentences. How is this fair?

At July 10, 2019 at 2:09 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

I agree... 10's of thousands of drug convictions have been vacated over her actions and now more are on the way.
The list:
drug lab scandal
crime lab scandal
Alcahol lab scandal
DCF scandal
State Police scandal
Environmental Police scandal
MBTA scandal
RMV scandal
I may have missed one or two

Charlie Baker must see by now the writing on the wall.

At July 10, 2019 at 4:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the writing on charlie bakers wall is that he is the best governor in the us and he will get re-elected if he runs again most if not all of these scandals have been going on for years they did not all just start happening while he was in office but he has done an abysmal job of fixing things and for that he won't be getting my vote next time around

At July 10, 2019 at 4:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stick the the stories tied in some way to Framigham. Can you tell me how many of these drug cases that were thrown out because of the failures at the drug labs actually involve residents of Framingham? That would be something I would be interested in knowing.

At July 11, 2019 at 11:55 AM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

I'm only guessing that dozens of cases may have been vacated here in the Ham. And I would also guess that more than a handful or more have had their licenses revoked as a result of the found never read citation boxes at the RMV.

At July 12, 2019 at 11:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You raise a good point about how MA excercises its oversight of so many things, including state police overtime records, drug court evidence violations, Framingham police evidence room, the RMV, the MEs office, the MBTA and commuter rail. Actually I should say the LACK of oversight!


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