HPD crime lab investigator wants to expand inquiry

The Chronicle reports that Michael Bromwich, who is leading the investigation of HPD's crime lab, has suggested to a City Council committee that he needs subpoena power to continue his work:

The special investigator probing the Houston crime lab scandal told a City Council committee today that his team needs subpoena power because some key figures are refusing to cooperate.

At least one former supervisor and one former crime lab analyst have refused to talk with investigators who are trying to unravel the web of problems plaguing the Houston Police Department facility, Michael Bromwich said.

The official reports detail Bromwich's unsuccessful efforts to secure interviews with some of the key players.

KHOU-11's Reggie Agui reports that Bromwich wants to expand the probe in other ways:

On Tuesday, Houston’s City Council heard more about the report and why the independent investigator believes it doesn’t go back far enough.

Independent investigator Michael Bromwich said he needs to look at cases going back to 1980.

The independent investigator found that 40 percent of the DNA cases he reviewed had serious flaws – something City Council knew going into Tuesday’s meeting.

What the City Council didn’t know is how long the investigation may take, as it may only be just the beginning.

Until now, the crime lab investigation only looked at cases from 1987 and on.

But the man leading the review said he needs more.

“Going back at least to 1980,” said independent investigator Michael Bromwich. “That is, identifying all serology cases in which the serology work may be related either by trial or by guilty plea to a conviction.”

That means potentially looking at hundreds more cases, each of which will require more time and more money.

The city doesn't have much choice but to get to the bottom of the crime lab problems. They've simply been ignored for too long.


Posted by Kevin Whited @ 01/10/06 10:09 PM | Print |

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