We are continuing our discussion a lawsuit filed by a former analyst for the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab. The analyst, Duane Deaver, was linked to a number of cases that independent reviewers found problems with. The SBI fired him, and he now claims he was a scapegoat; he wants his job back.
The SBI leveled a few allegations at Deaver to justify their decision to fire him. The first was related to accusations that he had intentionally misrepresented blood evidence before the Innocence Inquiry Commission. The day he was fired, SBI higher-ups signed off on an internal investigation of this particular allegation. The investigation concluded, according to Deaver’s deposition, that the accusation was unsubstantiated.
The agency also brought up a recorded demonstration Deaver had done in 2009; the SBI apparently took exception to a remark Deaver made during the presentation (“That’s a wrap, baby”). The agency also said that Deaver had neither notified the agency nor sought his superiors’ approval when he worked with a criminal profiler on an out-of-state case; at the time, he was on leave pending the conclusion of the outside case review.
His deposition also includes an admission that he had not always been a model employee: He had received some minor reprimands. He argued against the appellate court’s findings in the Michael Peterson murder case that he had exaggerated his expertise and overstated the accuracy of the tests he had performed.
And he steadfastly refused to admit that the allegations against him would affect his credibility as an analyst in future cases. He could not guess what either the SBI or a court of law would say or do on the issue, he said, but he knew he had done nothing wrong.
We’ll finish this up in our next post.
WRAL, “Fired SBI analyst: ‘I have done nothing wrong’,” Cullen Browder, April 9, 2014
ABC Local/WTVD, “SBI director testifies in Deaver hearing,” Ed Crump, April 3, 2014