ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – The Dakota, Ramsey and Washington county attorneys have met with St. Paul’s police chief to discuss issues relating to how the St. Paul Crime Lab handles narcotics cases.

John Choi of Ramsey County, James Backstrom of Dakota County and Peter Orput of Washington County met Monday with St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith to discuss and determine the appropriate response from the attorneys in relation to past narcotics cases.

The problems identified by the prosecutors focus on the lack of proper crime lab policies and procedures when it comes to its drug testing process. These problems have not led to the misidentification of controlled substances in some cases.

Choi, Backstrom and Orput released a joint statement regarding the meeting, highlighting their confidence in Chief Smith and his staff.

“We believe that Chief Tom Smith…will devote all necessary attention to provide leadership in addressing the complicated issues associated with correcting the deficiencies and rebuilding the public’s trust…This process will reinforce the transparency that the public expects and deserves in this matter,” wrote the prosecutors.


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