Team 5 Investigates is reporting that fired crime lab employee Robert Pino has morphed into a “whistle blower”. Is this sour grapes or signs of bigger problems? Seems like a transparent investigation and hearings are called for. Excerpts from the report:
“I’ve never been negligent in all my career at the crime lab. This is all a sham, they’re using me to cover up something else,” said Pino.
Inquiring minds will want to know more.
According to the state’s investigation, Pino’s “haphazard style” in managing this database is the reason why time ran out and prosecutors couldn’t go after criminals in fourteen sexual assault cases.
Pino says that’s hoohee.
Another problem Team 5 Investigates found at the Massachusetts state police crime lab is an increased workload, and inadequate staff to get it all done. Pino’s workload tripled in 2004 when the size of the CODIS database expanded to include DNA samples from all felons, but his staff size did not.
There is more.
…the state also claims Pino deliberately misused the DNA database to search for criminals through their family members who are already in the system. But according to an e-mail obtained by Team 5 Investigates, it appears that the state had actually given Pino permission to do that type of searching.
And a lawyer weighs in.
…attorney Joan Griffin says scientists, not cops, should be in charge of crime labs. “In my mind, there’s no question that if this could be separated from the police, we would be better off…”
Sounds like sound advice.