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State Crime Lab Accused of Mishandling Cases, Manager Resigns

Director of Washington State Crime lab resigns over allegations
(Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images)

At least five cases could be affected.

Kevin Fortney, the director of the Washington State Crime Lab, has resigned over allegations he mishandled several cases. The lab — part of the Washington State Patrol — is based in Cheney.

Employees came forward in January with allegations Fortney claimed to complete work never actually done. While specific details and cases were not revealed, authorities say some of them involved arson.

State Patrol spokesman Robert Calkins says it is unlikely the allegations could affect the outcome of the cases but he cannot say for sure until the local courts and law enforcement agencies are notified about the cases affected.

No evidence of criminal wrongdoing has been found against Fortney, who resigned last week. The cases were said to be older ones, in which Fortney was what is called a “front-line” lab scientist.

WSP officials said they continue to have faith and confidence in their lab and it appears Fortney acted alone.

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