EXCLUSIVE: APD Forensics Lab whistleblower speaks



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Posted on January 19, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 19 at 10:39 PM

AUSTIN -- A former chemist who filed complaints about the Austin Police Department's Forensics Lab denies accusations that she's a disgruntled ex-employee.  

Debbie Stephens and her attorney spoke exclusively to KVUE Thursday afternoon at the Travis County Justice Complex.

Last week the district attorney received her complaint about how the lab tests for drugs. The DA passed the complaint to the Department of Public Safety, and it remains under investigation.

Stephens worked at the lab for nine years until she was terminated last summer.

An assistant police chief told KVUE last week that Stephens filed her first of three complaints the same day she was fired.

Stephens says that is not true, and she believes she was fired for complaining about what she called unethical work on the part of lab employees.

"Being a forensic scientist and continuing in this field, I felt obligated morally and ethically that science be done right, and I knew that the evidence I had showed that things were not being right here in Austin, and I felt that the citizens deserved to hear what was going on at the Austin Crime Lab," Stephens said.

Stephens' attorney, a former APD officer says he has a major problem with DPS conducting the lab investigation. Find out why and hear more from the former chemist on KVUE News Nightbeat at 10 p.m.