Legislator Calls for Outside Review of Houston Crime Lab

By  | 

HOUSTON (AP) - A state lawmaker from Houston says local authorities should accept a recommendation to appoint a "special master" to review hundreds of criminal cases believed to be tainted by problems in the police crime lab.

Houston Mayor Bill White, Police Chief Harold Hurtt and Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal have said they don't see a need for the independent monitor called for in a report issued this week.

But Democratic state Representative Kevin Bailey says he'll work with fellow lawmakers to pressure the city into hiring such a monitor.

The recommendation for a monitor was part of a final report by Michael Bromwich, a former U.S. Justice Department inspector. He was appointed two years ago to oversee an independent investigation of the lab.

The report commends recent upgrades to the lab but also cites hundreds of "serious and pervasive" flaws in forensic cases mishandled by the lab's DNA and serology sections.