Former chemist released on $10,000 bail
BOSTON (WHDH) -- A former state chemist was taken to court Friday.
Annie Dookhan, 34, showed no emotion in court as she answered to obstruction of justice charges and falsely pretending to hold a college degree. Dookhan’s family, including her husband, was in court watching the proceedings.
The attorney general said Dookhan faked drug test results, which forced the state to shutdown a lab in Jamaica Plain. As a result, authorities are questioning thousands of criminal convictions.
“Miss Dookhan testified at a trial in superior court, that she testified under oath that she had a Master’s Degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts at Boston,” said prosecutor John Verner. “It has been learned by investigators at our office and others that Miss Dookhan does not have a Master’s in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts in Boston.”
Dookhan, who admitted to investigators she messed up, is accused of tampering with drug samples at the state lab in Jamaica Plain.
Court paperwork states that Dookhan would take a number of drug samples, just test a few of them, and if they didn’t come back the same way she would “clean it all up.”
Officials said the samples could have a monumental effect on thousands of cases -- already some behind bars have been freed, many more could soon follow.
“The crime lab in Sudbury determined that those drugs were positive, excuse me, were negative for cocaine. So they were negative on the street, positive when Miss Dookhan tested them and when they were retested they were negative,” said an attorney.
Dookhan’s attorney said she is going through a very tough time.
“It’s very stressful and it’s frustrating for her,” said defense attorney Nicolas Gordon. “This case is not going to be tried here in the clerk’s office. It’s not going to be tried out in the hallway. It’s going to be tried within a courtroom.”
Dookhan was fitted with a GPS tracking device after posting $10,000 cash bail. She was ordered by the judge to not leave the state or contact any other chemist, among other orders.
She returns to court in December.