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Coakley should not be overseeing criminal probe into drug lab scandal

The Globe feels better about the pursuit of justice in the drug lab crisis (“State makes progress on legal mess from drug lab,” Editorial, Dec. 3), but I do not. Why in the world is Attorney General Martha Coakley still in charge of chemist Annie Dookhan’s criminal investigation?

Yes, I realize that the larger issues have been turned over to the state’s inspector general. But the attorney general is still looking at the actions of Dookhan herself, and presumably at those with whom Dookhan interacted.

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Coakley’s office works closely with the state’s district attorneys in the prosecution of drug crimes. Coakley herself was the Middlesex district attorney from 1999 to 2007. Yet it has been reported that Suffolk and Norfolk County prosecutors asked for Dookhan by name so that she could “test” their drug samples, and even called her on her personal cellphone. One prosecutor resigned as a result.

The public deserves the appointment of an independent prosecutor. The attorney general does not have the objectivity to lead the investigation.

A true investigation must shine needed light on both Dookhan and on the assistant district attorneys who contacted her, apparently believing the so-called tests she conducted and sworn testimony she provided could result in outcomes they were seeking.

Lois Ahrens


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