Local Politics

Two under consideration to lead state crime lab

Posted June 10, 2011

State Bureau of Investigation, SBI
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— Attorney General Roy Cooper is considering two people to take the reins of the embattled state crime lab.

A nine-person committee reviewed information collected by an outside search firm, interviewed candidates and recommended three people for the post. The committee included prosecutors, law enforcement, defense attorneys and others.

The finalists are Jana Champion, director of the Wisconsin State Crime Lab in Milwaukee, and Steven Burmeister, a retired FBI agent who is now assistant deputy director of Office of National Intelligence.

The third person recommended by the committee, Jill Spriggs, chief of the California Bureau of Forensic Services, is no longer a candidate, officials said.

The crime lab came under scrutiny last summer when an independent review found that analysts misstated blood evidence in dozens of criminal cases over a 16-year period.

Cooper replaced the director of the State Bureau of Investigation, which oversees the crime lab, as well as the lab director and ordered audits of every section of the lab.

Lawmakers recently approved legislation that would allow an advisory panel to review the lab's work routinely.

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  • westernwake1 Jun 10, 2011

    I just hope that whoever they select quickly re-establishes (if it was ever there) the integrity of the state crime lab as an organization.

  • disgusted2010 Jun 10, 2011

    Interesting that WRAL did not try to trash one of the candidates like the NEws and Observer did. I guess that is the difference in reporting the news and trying to make news or the difference in reporting the news and trying to run the state.