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SBI panel meets to discuss new crime lab director

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

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State Bureau of Investigation, SBI (16x9)
RALEIGH, N.C. — A panel of law enforcement officials, defense attorneys and prosecutors met Monday as part of a national search for a new director of the State Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab.

Greg McLeod, the director of the SBI, appointed the panel in August to assist in efforts to replace former crime lab director Jerry Richardson.

Monday was the group’s second meeting.

In August, an outside report into the lab's serology program found analysts omitted, overstated or falsely reported information about blood evidence in nearly 200 cases that led to convictions in a 17-year period.

That led to Richardson’s removal and has prompted the SBI to scrutinize other areas of the lab.

In October, the agency rewrote the job description for a crime lab director, requiring a professional science degree along with strong leadership and management skills, SBI spokeswoman Noelle Talley said Monday.

Efforts are under way to engage an executive search firm to lead the search, she said.

The panel consists of Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, Moore County District Attorney Maureen Kreuger, defense attorneys Joe Cheshire and Phil Baddour, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Quentin Sumner, Cabarrus County Sheriff Brad Riley, Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore, Seth Edwards, president of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys, and Terri Lomax, vice chancellor for research and innovation at North Carolina State University.

Joe R. John Sr., a former North Carolina Court of Appeals judge was named in October to serve as the crime lab’s interim director.


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