A former lab director at New York City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday she was fired because she raised questions about practices at the city facility before a New York State oversight commission.
Marina Stajic, head of the office’s Forensic Toxicology Lab for 29 years and a member of the State Commission on Forensic Science, said she was forced out because she raised questions about a conflict of interest and the use of unreliable DNA practices in the city lab.
The federal court lawsuit filed in Manhattan also alleges top city lawyer Zachary Carter intervened with the state commission to block release of a transcript of its discussion of conflicts of interest in hiring a new head of the city’s biological lab, and that Stajic’s age, 66, was a factor in her April, 2015, firing.
Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for Carter, said, “The Law Department will review the claims. We haven’t seen the suit.”