The Office of the Inspector General's Hinton State Laboratory (Drug Lab) Investigation Team received the Manuel Carballo Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Service. The Commonwealth's Performance Recognition Program recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups of state employees who play a major role in the successful delivery of quality services to the citizens of Massachusetts. The Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service is the Commonwealth's highest honor for public employees. A special Selection Committee reviews nominations received from state agencies and makes recommendations to the Governor. The committee is comprised of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate and community leaders.
Audrey Mark led the Drug Lab investigation. Also, the core group on the Drug Lab Team included Rose Bagalawis, John Brooks, Maya French, David Gately, Meghan Hamilton, Patrick Heffernan, Christina Medina, Elizabeth Powers, Taylor Torino and Elizabeth Unger. In addition to the core Drug Lab Team, many other individuals from the Office contributed to the Drug Lab investigation.
In November 2012, Governor Patrick asked the Office to carry out an investigation of the Drug Lab following the arrest of Drug Lab chemist Annie Dookhan on charges of tampering with drug evidence results. Over the course of 15 months, the Office conducted a comprehensive investigation of the operation and management of the Drug Lab from 2002 to 2012, a period during which the Drug Lab was primarily overseen by the Department of Public Health, to determine whether any other chemists, supervisors, or managers at the Drug Lab committed any misfeasance or malfeasance that may have affected the reliability of drug testing at the Drug Lab, and to make findings and recommendations following its review. The Office carefully studied the Drug Lab’s policies and procedures, identifying a number of deficiencies in its practices and protocols. With the support of experts in the field of forensic drug testing, the Office reviewed more than 200,000 documents, including policies, procedures, lab records, testing data and results, emails, and internal memoranda. The Office also interviewed more than 40 individuals associated with the Drug Lab, most of them under oath.
The Drug Lab Investigation Team will be recognized at a special event at the State House later this summer.
For information on the Drug Lab Investigation, see the executive summary at Investigation of the Drug Laboratory at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute 2002 – 2012 - Executive Summary or the full report at Investigation of the Drug Laboratory at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute 2002 – 2012, March 2014