Why Couldn’t a Crime Lab Employee Get Fired for Being the Worst?

Laboratory bottles on a deskLaboratory bottles on a desk
Photo: Razvan Radu-RazvanPhotography/?RazvanPhotography 2004-2005

That’s the question an exhaustive new report on a particularly incompetent lab worker at the office of New York’s medical examiner. Over two years, the office has been looking into how she mislabeled evidence (mixing up suspect and victim’s names), ignored or missed DNA samples, failed to test evidence, and couldn’t understand basic concepts for testimony. But even though her supervisors knew about “myriad failures,” they didn’t fire her. The only news in this story that instills confidence in the city’s forensics lab: She left on her own in 2011.

Why Couldn’t Worst Crime Lab Employee Get Fired?