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SBI Interim Lab Director Quits

Three weeks ago, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper named former appeals court judge Gerald Arnold as interim director of the troubled SBI crime lab. Today, Arnold quit before he got started. Although Arnold was only named interim director he had a big assignment. Attorney General Roy Cooper assigned him to head a legal review of every section of the crime lab to see if its current procedures follow state law. He wants this review because a recent audit of only the blood analysis unit found about 230 cases in which analysts misrepresented or wrongly reported blood evidence from 1987 to 2003. Arnold told the Raleigh News and Observer that he has too many commitments to do the job. Cooper's office released a statement that says he's "frustrated with this unfortunate development." The statement also says Cooper's office is close to naming a replacement to head up the legal review of the lab. In addition, Cooper has said he's assembling a team to conduct a separate audit of every section of the crime lab that will examine past cases. A national search for new crime lab director is also under way.