Local News

Are more changes ahead for SBI?

Posted August 2, 2010

— Within a week, Attorney General Roy Cooper temporarily halted the State Bureau of Investigation's practice of analyzing blood stain evidence and announced the head of the bureau was moving to a new role in his office.

But are more changes in store for the state's top law agency? Gov. Bev Perdue suggested Monday that there might be.

"The attorney general knows what he has to do to make sure the agency moves forward," Perdue said, following a meeting with education officials in Halifax County. "I trust his leadership, and I believe that any changes or reorganization that he needs will happen pretty quickly."

The Attorney General's Office did not have an immediate comment Monday.

Cooper's moves last week come amid an outside review of the SBI crime lab's methods and cases involving blood spatter analysis.

The findings are expected soon, although Cooper has not said when he thinks he will receive them or if he knows what they might be.

Earlier this year, Cooper asked two former FBI assistant directors to look at the crime lab's practices, following the exoneration of Gregory Taylor, who served nearly 17 years in prison for murder.

A special three-judge panel heard evidence in February that complete blood test results had been excluded from crime lab reports presented at Taylor's 1993 trial.

An SBI agent testified that the lab results, which could have helped prove Taylor's innocence, were not included in the reports because it was SBI policy at the time not to do so.

Robin Pendergraft, who took over as SBI director in 2001, admitted after Taylor was freed that the policy was not a good practice.

Perdue suggests more SBI changes Perdue suggests more SBI changes

Defense attorneys have criticized her for not taking necessary steps to address problems when she became aware of them.

Cooper said the external review had nothing to do with Pendergraft stepping down to becoming a special deputy attorney general in his office's newly expanded Medicaid fraud unit.

"It's something I wanted her to do, because I need an experienced person to do it," he said Friday. In making the announcement, he called Pendergraft "an aggressive leader" and "a fighter for justice."

The SBI isn't the only government agency going through changes.

Last month, the commander of the State Highway Patrol announced he would leave his post effective Sept. 1 after his leadership became a target of critics, following numerous embarrassing incidents in recent years that have tarnished the agency's reputation.

Several state troopers have resigned, been fired or disciplined for inappropriate or questionable conduct, including profiling, drunken driving, sex on duty and inappropriate text messaging.

"You can't tar the whole Patrol because of a few people who have done bad things," said Perdue, who campaigned on a platform of transparency in government. "I have a zero-tolerance level for all those folks. I have fired them, and I will continue to do that."


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  • mea1001mea Aug 4, 2010

    Jurors must be skeptical of all state evidence. You just can NOT trust them. ALWAYS vote Innocent if any doubt WHATSOEVER. They only care about a score card.

  • mky777 Aug 3, 2010

    "The attorney general knows what he has to do to make sure the agency moves forward," Perdue said, following a meeting with education officials in Halifax County. "I trust his leadership, and I believe that any changes or reorganization that he needs will happen pretty quickly." WOW!!! That the kiss of death for that guy in charge!! He better find a new job. Isn't that what Bev stated about Col. R. Glover NCSHP?

  • heat764 Aug 3, 2010

    Bev would never "open an old closet in raleigh and rattle some bones" she is just as guilty as they are. She flys in her private jet all over NC burning up thousands of our tax payer dollars because she cant get in a car and drive 100 miles, better to burn jet fuel to get there. Then she cuts state employees salaries and delays everyones tax returns because the economy is so bad and the state is hurting for money. So bev put your money where your mouth is

  • justiceforall Aug 2, 2010

    No funny business here, move along. She just was put in a new job cause she wanted it.

  • wlldathrill Aug 2, 2010

    Bev's biggest fear right now is that Cooper will challenge her in the 2012 gubernatorial race. She is starting to sling mud already.

  • pbjbeach Aug 2, 2010

    In my own personal estimation they need to have an real house cleanning within every state agency within this entire admisntration from the governors offfice down an toinclude especially the attorneys generals office an mr cooper right along with them all need to be shown to the perverbial door (an don't let it hit you where the good lord split you )( if you get my drift here .start with bev an work your way down stream from there. i would say that mr cooper needs to go just for the fact that he refuises to enforce the laws of fraud within this state an especialy within the ncdot where that his office manintains a branch of his office inside the ncdot so they can say that they arent aware of the fraud that is rampant within the ncdot that is unless they are totaly blind but even a blind man could see these event of fraud thank you

  • mamabearprotectinghercub Aug 2, 2010

    Cooper is protecting are children, he is doing a job that he is trying to do best. I respect him. He is trying to do the best he can. If he respects my child I will respect him, this man has a lot on him. So does Beth.

  • WHEEL Aug 2, 2010

    All Bev has to do to get rid of Cooper is threaten to open one of those old musty closets in Raleigh and rattle a few bones. The whole crowd is complicit in the wrongdoing in Raleigh for the past 20 years. Cooper is a relative new commer.

  • banker27520 Aug 2, 2010

    Great job Bev!

  • gandalla Aug 2, 2010

    Again, I do not think the Governor has any functional authority over the state Attorney Generals office unless there is some General Statute that I am unaware of to the contrary.

    As long as the house gets clean who cares what authoirty she does or doesnt have? As long as she is letting the agencies know that they need to clean up their act its a win-win for the public.