AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Texas Department of Public Safety is reviewing Austin Police Department's crime lab after a whistleblower alleged that hundreds of cases dating back to 2005 might have been mishandled.
Debra Stephens, a former APD forensic scientist, in a letter obtained by KXAN, warned District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg that there is a rush to report results of forensic tests ordered by Austin police.
Stephens also alleges that evidence has been compromised and could end up in false convictions.
Lehmberg's office has sent an email to all Austin defense attorneys telling them of the allegations that could affect their clients.
DPS said that "appropriate chemical analysis was performed" on the three examples that Stephens submitted. In her whistleblower letter, however, Stephens said 'hundreds" of cases could be at risk.
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, DPS Assistant Chief of Public Affairs Tom Vinger said:
"At the request of the Travis County District Attorney's Office, DPS is reviewing several allegations made against the APD Crime Lab by a former employee. We cannot comment on the specific allegations or any preliminary findings. Additional questions should be directed to the DA's office."
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