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|State Police Audit Drawing Criticism
|Remember the reports of the state's DNA testing backlog being cut to zero? Well, those reports were false.
A biting audit of how the Illinois State Police handle DNA testing indicates that state police falsified the backlog reports, missed deadlines for prosecutors and police handling criminal cases, and gave testing money back to the governor's office.
The audit covers the years 2002-2007, which was during the reign of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
State police director Jonathan Monken wouldn't say much, except that he wanted to look at moving the agency forward, and that more details may be available in the days to come. Col. Scott Giles flat-out said of some points in the audit, "That's inaccurate."
State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), a former prosecutor, requested the audit. He says the findings in the 168-page audit are shocking. He says one of his concerns is that state police were sending "live" case evidence to out-of-state contractors for testing. He says that's a problem in proving the chain of possession, and because the staff in other states could refuse to come back to Illinois during trials.
One finding in the audit claims that the Rockford lab tinkered with the way it tested cases, which violated state law. The audit says the lab notified the top brass, which "condoned the practice." But Giles says that's wrong.
The audit says while state police and the governor's office were claiming that the backlog had been eliminated, the caseload was as high as 10,387, which represented a 203 percent increase in backlogged cases over the audit period. Monken says the DNA case backlog is now about 10,000.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|03 27 09 by Newsroom
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