BOSTON (AP) — The chemist at the center of a Massachusetts drug lab scandal always had a reputation for diligence and hard work.
Now her former co-workers, classmates and neighbors are struggling to understand how she could be accused of falsifying test results on drugs tested for criminal cases.
Annie Dookhan, originally of the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, is charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly skirting lab protocols, faking test results and sometimes mixing samples to cover her tracks. The 34-year-old chemist has pleaded not guilty.
People who knew her as a girl and young woman say they are shocked by the charges. Dookhan is the only child of working immigrant parents, attended the prestigious Boston Latin Academy and received a degree in biochemisty from the University of Massachusetts. Before the lab was shut down in August, she was known as an academic standout and a hard worker.
The scandal has put thousands of criminal cases in jeopardy and sent the Massachusetts legal system into a tailspin.