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Cooper names another interim chief of SBI crime lab

Posted October 13, 2010

— North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper on Wednesday named a former judge as interim director of the beleaguered State Bureau of Investigation crime lab.

The appointment of Joe R. John Sr. is the second time in five weeks that Cooper has tried to find someone to guide the crime lab while a nationwide search is conducted for a permanent chief.

Two weeks ago, Gerald Arnold, a former chief judge of the state Appeals Court, backed out of the post, saying he wouldn’t be able to handle a job with such a large time commitment.

John, who served on the state Court of Appeals from 1992 to 2000 and was previously a Superior Court and District Court judge in Greensboro, will be responsible for auditing all sections of the crime lab to ensure that test results are accurate and have been properly reported.

An independent review of cases in the lab's blood-stain analysis unit called for a thorough examination of 190 criminal cases, stating information that could have helped defendants was sometimes misrepresented or withheld.

Outside auditors will review the SBI lab’s DNA section this month and in December, Cooper said Wednesday. All 19 of the external audits that have been performed over the last 20 years have found the SBI’s DNA analysis to meet standards set by the FBI.

"We want to make sure the lab’s strong DNA work continues to give law enforcement the thorough, accurate information it needs to solve crimes," he said in a statement.

The first October review will include a team of FBI-qualified forensic analysts from the Kentucky State Police crime laboratory and Burlington-based LabCorp. Federally qualified auditors from the National Forensic Science Technology Center will perform a full-scale audit of the DNA section in December.

“We welcome these reviews as we work to continue the SBI’s work assisting local law enforcement in keeping North Carolina safe,” SBI Director Greg McLeod said in a statement.

McLeod also named Terri Lomax, the vice chancellor for research at North Carolina State University, to the panel that is advising him in the search for a permanent crime lab director.  The panel, which also includes prosecutors, defense attorneys and other representatives of the justice system, met last month and plans to meet again in November.


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  • North Carolina Home Oct 13, 2010

    Why not a Democrat crony? Isn't that the way to protect your own?

    This is serious business, people, and it's inefficency is going to cost this state a lot of money.

    Robin Pendergraft, another Democratic crony, was demoted/promoted from the SBI to Medicare fraud by DA Cooper. Why does that not make me feel better?

  • Sherlock Oct 13, 2010

    Why keep putting in judges and lawyers, find a chemist.

  • bombayrunner Oct 13, 2010

    A black and white picture? Did Perry Mason finally go off the air long enough for them to get this guy a spot at the SBI?

    They must have something in that building they want NO ONE to know about AT ALL. ... maybe like the EXTENT of the problems???

    ... that and the FEAR of exactly how many folks are sitting in the slammer telling the TRUTH -- I DIDN"T DO IT!!!

  • North Carolina Home Oct 13, 2010

    Actually no, rather

    Public Policy Polling, the Democratic Pollsters based in Raleigh. Here's the link if you can cease your insulting posts long enough to pull you head out of the equator of your anatomy for the length of time it takes for you to be finally informed.


  • Retired07 Oct 13, 2010

    Folks don t wait for the Dems to do anything meaningful but play the shell game with the real culprits that have disappeared all of a sudden from the political scene or should MR COOPER. All you are going to see is somme other cronnie come in and "study the problem" while it hopefully fades away and back to "Cronnisim" as usual.

    Help them decide and do this country a favor and vote Republican in Nov!

  • ratherbnnc Oct 13, 2010

    I wonder if there is a secret oath involved, "I swear to avoid investigating NC democrats." You'd think with Bev and the long parade of other corrupt-- excuse me, allegedly corrupt-- democratic governors, it'd be quite necessary.

    I am happy to see you were able to somewhat entertain yourself today! It surely is entertainment for me watching such stupidity!

  • mgratk Oct 13, 2010

    "The Budget has been balanced, by law, for along time now. Our Budget has a Triple AAA bond and credit rating nationally. That is hardly runaway spending MY FRIEND." --ratherbnnc

    WHAT?! What does credit rating have to do with it?! A good credit rating just means the state democrats are exceptionally good at sucking the lifeblood from the citizens.

  • ratherbnnc Oct 13, 2010

    he NEED a scientist who is organized to oversee not just the legalitys but to ensure that the testing facilities, materials and procedures are being utilized in the best practices style with emphasis on accurate results, impartial results, results that will stand the test of time and outside monitoring. A scientist is exactly what is needed if a quality SBI Lab is the goal.

    And your an expert in this field since when?

  • mgratk Oct 13, 2010

    I wonder if there is a secret oath involved, "I swear to avoid investigating NC democrats." You'd think with Bev and the long parade of other corrupt-- excuse me, allegedly corrupt-- democratic governors, it'd be quite necessary.

  • ratherbnnc Oct 13, 2010

    And if anyone is wonderding why the Republicans have an 8% lead over the Democrats in Legislative races, it may be because so many conservative business owners just may be simply tired of the "pay to play" rules on contracts.

    If there ever was a thorough investigation of state contracts (in particular DOT) we would run out of prison space overnight.
    North Carolina Home

    Been reading that one sided Civitas thing again? lol