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January 13, 2021
The Houston Forensic Science Center has asked the City of Houston’s Office of
Inspector General to investigate allegations made against personnel in the crime scene
The request and the subsequent investigation result from an anonymous letter received
by members of the HFSC board of directors. HFSC’s policies and past practices dictate
that when such allegations surface the OIG is asked to conduct an independent
“We take all personnel matters seriously and the best way for to ascertain whether the
allegations are substantiated is to have an independent, external investigation,” said Dr.
Peter Stout, HFSC’s CEO and president.
“The OIG is experienced with such investigations and is in the best position to
objectively handle this matter,” he added.
HFSC’s crime scene unit fully civilianized in 2018. The unit has since focused on
improving quality and protocols while fully staffing a 24/7 team that meets the city’s
“These are our front-line folks and their transition to a fully civilian, independent entity
has been the most difficult,” Dr. Stout said. “We will continue doing everything in our
power to ensure the staff have the resources they need to fulfill their duties and a
healthy work environment.”
HFSC is a local government corporation that provides forensic services to the City of
Houston and other local agencies. HFSC is overseen by a Board of Directors appointed
by the Mayor of Houston and confirmed by the Houston City Council. Its management
structure is designed to be responsive to a 2009 recommendation by the National
Academy of Sciences that called for crime laboratories to be independent of law
enforcement and prosecutorial branches of government.
HFSC operates in seven forensic disciplines.
Ramit Plushnick-Masti
Director of Communications/PIO
713-703-4898 (cell)
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