Governor Kate Brown has announced, at the request of Oregon State Police Superintendent Rich Evans, the formation of a workgroup to evaluate the practices and procedures followed by the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, based upon the recent concerns raised by stakeholders.
Editor’s note: Evidence was allegedly tampered with in the OSP evidence lab in Bend, potentially affecting hundreds of criminal cases.
“The credibility of the criminal justice system is critical to Oregon’s citizens,” Governor Brown said. “Superintendent Evans and I believe that an open review of the lab is appropriate under the circumstances. I am confident that the participants of this work group will give the issues full and open consideration, and make appropriate recommendations for the best ways to move forward.”
Governor Brown has asked members of her general counsel’s office and policy staff to ensure the group gets all of the information it requests, and that appropriate parties are invited to present to the group. The workgroup will be tasked with examining the recent allegations of tampering and identify any changes that need to be made. If statutory changes are required, the group will assist in having language drafted for the February 2016 legislative session.
The workgroup will be co-chaired by Senator Jackie Winters and House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson.
Additional members of the workgroup are:
Chuck French, retired Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney
Ernest Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Office of Public Defense Services
Kevin Sali, defense attorney
Michael Slauson, Special Counsel on Public Safety to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum
John Teague, Chief of Keizer Police Department