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Crime and Courts


Rehabbing the Canton crime lab
Stark Council of Governments felt the city was appointing unqualified candidates
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
In The Region:
They’re trying to rehab the crime lab. WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports from Canton on how the city, and the Stark Council of Governments, are coming together to fix problems with the criminal forensics unit there. 
Rehabbing the Canton crime lab

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The Stark County Crime Lab operating out of the Canton Police Department was one of the most respected labs in the state for decades. But, in early 2012 things started going sideways. The director was fired by the city over how he was re-hired after a retirement years earlier. 

Oversight problems followed, including a criminalist accused of mishandling evidence. 

Disagreement between the city, which administers the lab, and Stark Council of Governments, which funds much of it, grew…especially over its leadership. SCOG, as the council is called, felt the city was appointing unqualified candidates. 

So, Canton Mayor William Healy and SCOG head Tom Bernabie worked something out. The city will still hire and fire, but only on SCOG recommendations.

“Crime lab employees will remain employees of the city, but the bottom line of the agreement is that day-to-day operations will be transferred to SCOG."

Bernabie has signed the agreement for Stark Council of Governments. Healey is expected to sign after her reviews it with Canton City Council.
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