October 8, 2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Oregon State Police is continuing the internal review that started March 2012 into analysis work done by the Forensic Services Division Questioned Document Unit after management became aware of potential quality control issues related to the forensic work of the Unit’s two examiners.
Suspension of the Unit’s work remains in effect during the ongoing external audit and independent OSP investigation to review known and potential issues. Over 30 cases were initially identified for independent review by outside qualified examiners. In addition to those reviews which haven’t been completed, other cases are also being considered for independent review.
An investigation by an Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division lieutenant was forwarded to the Clackamas County District Attorney’s office to determine if any crime may have been committed related to the examiners’ work. Their office decided there was no criminal conduct related to the work of either examiner whose vast majority of work is handwriting analysis. Both have been employed with the Department since 1999 and remain on paid administrative leave.
Oregon State Police continues to update the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board – International, Oregon public safety agencies and District Attorney Offices as the review continues.
The Questioned Documents Unit conducts examination of printed, typed or written material for the purpose of identifying the source, determining alterations or other means of gaining information about an item or circumstances surrounding its production. The Unit is located at the Portland Metro Lab where two examiners only perform analysis on forensic questioned documents for all 36 Oregon counties. Over the last three years, the Unit averaged 80 cases per year.