State fires crime lab worker after noting errors
Iowa public safety officials are tightening oversight at the state crime lab after firing an employee who mishandled fingerprint data.
Department of Public Safety officials say nine cases analyzed by the staffer in 2012 contained errors. In two of those cases the employee missed the opportunity to match the fingerprint data to a suspect.
In response, the department is contacting local authorities impacted by the mistakes and plans to toughen the agency's process.
The employee, who had been with the department more than 16 years, was fired Wednesday. Officials wouldn't identify the worker.
Charis Paulson, director of the Division of Criminal Investigation, says the errors didn't lead to any wrongful convictions or derail any violent crime investigations. The crime lab handles about 15,000 cases annually for agencies around the state.
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