The governor has handed a high-profile attorney who for a dozen years was chief prosecutor for homicides in Boston the mammoth task of handling the fallout from the scandal at the state drug lab in Jamaica Plain.
Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday announced his appointment of David Meier to lead a "boiler room" clearinghouse dedicated to finding everyone whose criminal case might have been tainted by what the state is calling a rogue chemist.
Former Department of Public Health State Lab chemist Annie Dookhan allegedly doctored or otherwise tainted up to 60,000 drug samples in 34,000 cases. She resigned in March before the scandal became public.
The governor shuttered the South Street labs in August. Since then, things have moved fast. On Wednesday, the first convicted drug dealer learned he would be going free as a result of the evidence-tainting scandal. That followed Tuesday's resignation of the commissioner of Public Health, JP's John Auerbach.
Patrick praised Meier, the new head of the new central office to review cases.
"With his extensive experience on both sides of the bar and proven commitment to the fair administration of justice in the Commonwealth, David Meier is the perfect person to undertake this critical task," said Patrick in a press statement. "The central office will serve as the clearinghouse for all information so that we can fully understand the universe of cases we’re dealing with and see that justice is done."
Meier, a partner at Todd & Weld LLP, has 20 years of experience as a prosecutor.