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DPH’s Auerbach Resigns Amid Lab Scandal

Department of Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach has resigned, according to the Patrick administration. (Photo: Office of Gov. Deval Patrick)

This just in from State House News Service:

Amid a crime lab scandal, Department of Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach has resigned, according to a Patrick administration official. Auerbach offered his resignation over the weekend and Gov. Deval Patrick accepted it on Monday. Auerbach is expected to remain on for a transitional period, according to the administration official.

Last Thursday, state officials announced that the bureau chief of the now shuttered state Jamaica Plain crime lab at the center of a controversy over the alleged mishandling of drug samples had resigned, a previously suspended lab director had been fired and the Patrick administration had begun “discharge proceedings” against a third crime lab supervisor.

Patrick administration officials are juggliing a crisis centering on more than 60,000 drug samples that may have been tainted by a rogue chemist leading to the shakeup. Lab Bureau Chief Dr. Linda Han resigned on Wednesday.

The director of the analytical chemistry division at the Department Public Health, Dr. Julie Nassif, was fired her role in a massive tampering case that Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby attributed in part to lax oversight and an “unacceptable delay” in notifying superiors. Continue reading