Lab tech accused of falsifying evidence

May 11, 2010 at 12:34 PM

NEW YORK, May 11 (UPI) -- A suspended New York police lab technician has denied she falsified drug-test results that could cast doubt on thousands of criminal cases.

Mariem Megalla, 57, a 24-year employee of the New York Police Department, was suspended Friday without pay.

"Let them look at my cases! I didn't do any crime," Megalla told the New York Post in a story published Tuesday.

Monday, police and the city's district attorneys met to discuss evidence that needs to be retested, an unidentified source told the Post.

"It could potentially be hundreds and maybe thousands of cases that need to be looked at because of how long she's been in the department," the source said.

Megalla falsely labeled a sample of suspected drugs as positive for cocaine after it tested negative, police alleged. In another case, Megalla labeled as positive a crack cocaine pipe that had tested negative for drug residue, police alleged.

"Shortcuts were done in lieu of retesting," police spokesman Paul Browne said. "It's not acceptable to take these shortcuts,"

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