800 Litigations Tampered by Former S.F. Lab Analyst

On Friday, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office disclosed a list showing that a former lab worker tampered with more than 800 resolved criminal prosecutions. According to the Office’s official records, the lab analyst in question allegedly got caught in August sporting a bag of methamphetamine in an attempt to make illegal distributions of the drug.

The affected cases include those related to homicides, DUIs, and rapes. Many of those 800 tainted cases occurred and got resolved ten years ago, and conducting another set of honest examinations of the lawsuits would require the city to invest nearly a half-million dollars for the task. The previously mentioned plan aims to check the number of cases that got tainted by the said former San Francisco laboratory analyst. Most of the recorded lawsuits date back from 2009 until this year. 

Case Details and Volk’s Allegations

As of late, the disclosed list includes over a total of 822 cases. The roll consisted of vita information such as dates of charges and arrests and court numbers. However, due to confidentiality concerns, no names got included in the roster. According to officials’ statements, they did not make the spreadsheet to question the judgments made nor make anyone feel entitled to legal consolation. City prosecutors released the list to check for additional evidence and review the cases that got allegedly tainted by Volk.

According to the district attorney’s administrators, they will continue to update the list they find additional information crucial for the case’s investigation. Moreover, lawyers urge those who knew Volk got involved with their lawsuits or those whose information got included in the spreadsheet to reach out to their defense attorneys. Anyone affected by the mishap has the right to discuss potential legal treatments to make it up for the current inconvenience.

Three months before the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office breaking announcement, Justin Volk got arrested by the police in Utah due to illegal possession of meth and various pills while driving around the place. Volk is San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office’s former lab analyst, and he was the one responsible for the 800 tampered cases. Following his detainment, Volk later got filed with charges involving unauthorized ownership of methamphetamine and the intention of distributing the prohibited drug.

City Prosecutors’ Stance and Future Actions on the Situation

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin released a statement on Friday regarding the issue. According to him, Boudin’s legal team acted with deep urgency on managing Volk’s allegations against him and focused on studying all of the criminal offenses involving the fired lab worker. Boudin expressed in his account that the district office prioritizes the integrity of their convictions. For them to do so, he stated that the information they posted surrounding Volk’s offenses is one step in committing to the criminal legal system’s transparency and honesty.

Regarding Volk’s situation, legal prosecutors are still in the process of investigating allegations filed against him. However, he hasn’t faced any local charges as of late. In the past month, Volk got terminated from his position at the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office, following his meth arrest in Utah last August of this year.

To ensure that none of the cases involving Volk got tampered with, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office lawyers stated that they would review all of the 800 litigations he has handled in the past.

Moreover, prosecutors estimated that they need approximately $450,000 to assist in requesting new proceedings and appellate filings to re-examine the previously mentioned cases impacted by Volk. Additionally, they also appealed to the Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee and Mayor London Breed for additional funding regarding the wide-scale investigations on the matter.