MA Board recommends disbarment of prosecutor linked to lab scandal

Prosecutor Works to Cover-Up Wrongdoing

Disgraced forensic lab chemist Sonja Farak used the seized drug evidence herself, and then fabricated test results that were used in criminal prosecutions to convict and incarcerate scores of people. Thousands of drug cases were dismissed, including, undoubtedly, cases against many who were guilty as charged, as a result of her criminal conduct.

Former Assistant Attorney General Anne Kaczmarek learned about this and eventually prosecuted Farak. But the Board of Bar Overseers (BBO) determined she worked harder to cover up the scandal, than to uncover whose rights were trampled upon:

The BBO's memorandum said Kaczmarek "actively misled others in the AGO [attorney general's office] and the district attorneys," and that "her primary motivation appears to have been to contain the damage" from Farak's misconduct, adding she exhibited a “disregard for the rights of defendants" in criminal cases potentially tainted by Farak's misconduct.

"A Few Good Men"

In an echo of the classic film, "A Few Good Men," the BBO recommended that junior prosecutor Kris Foster be suspended from the practice of law for a year and a day, rejecting her claim that she was merely following orders in failing to blow the whistle on the cover-up. As lawyers, whether in private practice or with the government, we all have ethical responsibilities that require us to follow the rules of professional conduct, even if it means saying no to a corrupt boss, Even if it means losing a job.

Will Kaczmarek be disbarred?

It's incredibly rare for a prosecutor to even be disciplined at all, much less disbarred, for corrupt practices. Just as with police officers, there is very little accountability for these players in the criminal justice system who wield so much power. I can count on one finger the number of prosecutors that I know were disbarred as a result of corrupt practices: Mike Nifong, of the infamous Duke Lacrosse case. And this, in a country where 189 innocent people have been convicted and sentenced to the death penalty since 1973, many of which were wrongfully convicted due to prosecutors violating their constitutional rights by concealing evidence of innocence.

Stay tuned... -- Ted