• Republicans call for more oversight following drug lab scandals


    Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, a Republican, says Gov. Deval Patrick deserves credit for the steps he has taken in regards to the drug lab scandal, but believes it's just not enough.

    "I think he did take some actions that are laudable, having certain people dismissed, but I think in the long run until we have systemic change, we're not going to have the kind of solution the situation deserves," Tarr told FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti.

    Tarr is calling for lawmakers to pass a Republican backed bill that would set up a five member oversight panel. He says it would also mandate every lab be accredited, set up a hotline for people to call, and mandate quarterly reporting of the volume of cases.

    "It has an infrastructural approach to say we're going to have high levels of accreditation. We're going to have an oversight board, some of the highest officials in state government, we're going to make sure there's a way for people to report incidents, and we're going to have reporting so we know what's going on and we can keep track of the system that's being used to test criminal evidence in the Commonwealth."

    Local district attorneys are calling for "relief with these extraordinary efforts."

    The Massachusetts District Attorneys' Association issued a statement Sunday saying six months after Dookhan's actions were exposed, district attorneys "continually operate from existing resources."

    The association says they are facing mid-year budget cuts that are unrealistic and unfair. They want the governor and lawmakers to give them more resources.

    They say this has left hundreds of cases in turmoil and created "fiscal chaos."

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