Report alleges wrongdoing by crime lab director

BY JEREMY MOULE

UPDATE: Janet Anderson-Seaquist has been fired.

A county spokesperson said this afternoon that Anderson-Seaquist was put on leave in May after the county received a draft copy of the inspector general’s report.

The spokesperson also said that the county worked with the inspector general’s office on a corrective action plan for the crime lab.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The state Inspector General’s Office has issued a report highlighting alleged improper practices by the Monroe County crime lab director.

The report alleges that director Janet Anderson-Seaquist, who has been on paid leave since May, and a top staff member made errors that resulted in the destruction of evidence. They allegedly made a determination that evidence from 270 cases was “time barred” – past the statute of limitations – which resulted in the evidence being sent back to police agencies. The agencies then destroyed the evidence in many of the cases.

A review by the county District Attorney’s Office found that at least 41 of those cases weren’t past the statute of limitations, says a press release accompanying the report. DNA evidence from three burglaries and a rape had matches in DNA databases.

The report details other alleged misconduct and accuses Anderson-Seaquist of misleading the New York State Commission on Forensic Science.

The county hired Anderson-Seaquist in early 2010 to run the crime lab. She had been supervising forensic scientist at Ventura County Sheriff’s Forensic Sciences Laboratory in California.

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