The Republican Governors Association goes after Democrat Roy Cooper’s handling of the state crime lab again in a new TV ad.
The ad is the group’s second targeting the state crime lab, which Cooper oversees as attorney general. Beneath the words, “Roy Cooper didn’t do his job,” a narrator says problems at the lab “may have impacted the state’s ability to administer justice.”
“Cooper’s department even concealed for six years a report investigating serious negligence or misconduct. Under Roy Cooper, the SBI was found to have manipulated evidence, and Cooper’s office defended it.”
The ad refers to a report on the troubled lab that surfaced only recently.
The report by an independent accreditation agency in December 2010 found that, among other things, the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors revealed problems with the way the ballistics lab – and one of its analysts – was documenting its work.
The report came to light during a lawsuit brought against The (Raleigh) News & Observer by the analyst, Beth Desmond. The report dealt with a 2006 Pitt County murder trial. The N&O asked former lab director Joe John Sr. why the initial report was never made public.
“All I can say is we challenged many of the statements in that ASCLD report,” John said last month. “I prepared a report strongly disagreeing with much of what they said. Ultimately, they concluded we had addressed any and everything they pointed out in their first report.”
Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said the attorney general “identified and fixed systemic problems” with the crime lab after taking office.
“Unfortunately, in an effort to save his flailing campaign, Gov. McCrory is falsely attacking Roy Cooper for problems the Attorney General found and fixed,” Porter said. “North Carolinians deserve better.”
A new report shows the RGA is spending nearly $1 million in ads against Cooper in his race against GOP Gov. Pat McCrory.