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The state drug lab scandal: how it unfolded

A chemist at Hinton State Laboratory Institute allegedly breached procedure and mishandled evidence involved in drug cases, prompting the laboratory to be shut down.

Tamir Kalifa for The Boston Globe

A chemist at Hinton State Laboratory Institute allegedly breached procedure and mishandled evidence involved in drug cases, prompting the laboratory to be shut down.

John Auerbach.

David L Ryan/Globe Staff

John Auerbach.

THE DRUG LAB SCANDAL: How it unfolded

August 30

State Police shut down the Hinton State Laboratory Institute in Jamaica Plain after an investigation uncovers alleged widespread malfeasance by a former chemist, Annie Dookhan, who had tested thousands of drug samples in criminal cases since 2003.

September 17

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John Auerbach, the commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, which had run the lab until shortly before its closure, resigns, saying, “It is clear that there was insufficient quality monitoring, reporting, and investigating.”

Governor Deval Patrick.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Governor Deval Patrick.

September 20

Governor Deval Patrick appoints veteran prosecutor David Meier to lead an investigation into tens of thousands of potentially tainted criminal cases.

September 27

Robert Mulligan, chief justice of the state Trial Court, announces that special courts will be established around Massachusetts to handle affected criminal cases.

Annie Dookham was arrested at her Franklin home by Mass. State Police.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Annie Dookham was arrested at her Franklin home by Mass. State Police.

September 28

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Annie Dookhan is arrested by State Police at her Franklin home and charged with 2 counts of obstructing justice and one count of falsifying her academic record.

November 5

Patrick asks state Inspector General Glenn Cunha to lead the probe into what went wrong at the Jamaica Plain lab; Cunha takes over the inquiry from Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose office continues to pursue the criminal investigation into Dookhan.

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