Texas Crime Lab Scientist’s Shoddy Work May Have Tainted 5,000 Cases

AUSTIN (April 5, 2013)--Suspended Texas state police crime lab scientist Jonathan Salvador, whose shoddy work may have tainted nearly 5,000 drug cases, was promoted despite a history of problems doing his work correctly and on time, according to a report that the Texas Forensic Science Commission reviewed Friday.

The report says Salvador was told to correct his work in about a third of his cases.

His supervisors also said he routinely scrambled to keep up with his monthly work expectations, the report said.

Salvador was suspended in 2012 after his work at the Houston lab came into question, and state officials have been reviewing his cases dating back to 2006.

The Texas Rangers investigated Salvador, but a grand jury declined to charge him with any crimes.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has already set aside at least 16 drug convictions from Galveston County.

The forensics panel said the total number of cases handled by Salvador is almost 5,000 from 36 counties.