Courts & Crime

New SBI chief removes lab director, suspends more analysts

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The head of the SBI crime lab lost his job Friday, another move in a regime change that leaders promise will bring new standards and attitudes to the state's forensic laboratory.

Greg McLeod, on his fifth day at work as SBI director, removed Jerry Richardson as lab director and launched a nationwide search for his replacement.

"Jerry Richardson is a friend and has done good work, but we are moving forward," McLeod said in an interview. McLeod said Richardson, for the moment, still has a job with the SBI, but he will soon decide whether Richardson has a future with the agency.

McLeod also ordered three veteran blood and DNA analysts to step away from their work until he investigates their parts in a 16-year practice of withholding critical evidence in their lab reports.

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