Local News

New SBI director sets out to rebuild agency

Posted August 18, 2010

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Two weeks after being named to lead the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Greg McLeod already faces a tough road in restoring confidence in the agency.

On Wednesday, two former FBI agents asked to review the operations of the SBI's blood stain analysis lab released a report that found that the lab omitted, overstated or falsely reported blood evidence in dozens of cases, including three that ended in executions.

The report called for a thorough examination of blood evidence in 190 criminal cases from 1987 to 2003.

"They were clearly unacceptable practices," McLeod said in an interview Wednesday.

McLeod, who previously served as general counsel for the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety and the Attorney General's Office, said he has already implemented new checks and balances within the crime lab, including seeking national accreditation, conducting spot audits and appointing an ombudsman to watch over testing and evidence handling.

"You've got to go in with a questioning attitude and an open mind and do a lot of listening," he said about trying to rebuild the crime lab and the overall agency.

He said he is open to the idea of creating an independent lab, but he wants to make sure the SBI is not impeded in gathering and analyzing evidence.

Four agents whose practices were questioned in the report remain at the SBI, including Duane Deaver, who admitted he withheld a negative blood test in the case of Greg Taylor.

Outside review finds flaws in 190 SBI prosecutions Former FBI assistant director led study

A special judicial panel exonerated Taylor in February after he had served 17 years in prison for the murder of a Raleigh prostitute.

"I can't speak specifically about individuals, but I can certainly say that appropriate personnel action will be taken," McLeod said.

He said Deaver is on leave from the agency with pay while his cases are being reviewed.

While acknowledging much room for improvement – 7 percent of lab analysts don't have have science degrees, for example – McLeod expressed confidence in the vast majority of SBI agents and how they handle their duties.

"Their role is not to help prosecutors but to seek justice," he said.

4 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • webberx101 Aug 20, 2010

    ...and no one is at least FIRED ?!?!?!

  • rand321 Aug 19, 2010

    Yet another state agency in need of re-orgnazation when they have failed at their mission to serve the people of NC who employ them.

    If its not the Highway Patrol, ABC boards, the election board investigating itself, a former guv under Federal investigation, now we have the SBI. The only common link is that they are all controlled by state Democrats. Not to say the GOP is any better.

    however, when one party controls too many of the levers of power, we get this cronyism to protect and perpetuate the power base.

    Its time that we begin to clean up our government, return power to the people and the private sector. And make the state of NC business, more open to the public for scrutiny. let the sunshine in!

  • disgusted2010 Aug 19, 2010

    Mr. McLeod is probably a nice guy, but his experience is "schmoozing" legislators not law enforcement. This is another example of our Attorney General's absolute failure to to the job he was elected to. His actions are typical for a career politician who is merely "passing through" the Attorney General's position on his way to bigger and better things.

    I hope he has finally been exposed for what he is, the worst of the political hacks that WE have elected.

  • garnertoy Aug 19, 2010

    The sbi has loss the trust of NC