SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon Governor Kate Brown is forming a workgroup to evaluate the practices and procedures of the Oregon State Police crime lab, as the state investigates a forensic analyst for allegedly tampering with evidence.
The workgroup, announced on Friday, will examine the recent allegations of tampering and identify any changes that need to be made. It also will help draft new legislation if statutory changes are needed.
State authorities said last week evidence in hundreds of criminal cases was being reviewed following accusations that a forensic analyst stole pills and other drugs and replaced them with over-the-counter pills.
The analyst, 35-year-old Nika Larsen, worked in OSP’s Bend lab. She was placed on leave earlier this month.
The state Department of Justice took over the criminal investigation from OSP earlier this week.