5:55pm

Thu July 25, 2013
Regional Coverage

Report: Syracuse Police detective improperly used SUNY-ESF lab

The state Inspector General's office has issued a report that largely clears the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry of any wrongdoing surrounding the use of a forensics lab at the college.

The Onondaga County District Attorney's office rose concerns in April about Syracuse Police forensic evidence used in several shooting cases. That prompted the state forensics commission to ask the Inspector General to conduct the investigation.

The report finds that while SUNY-ESF's forensics lab is unaccredited, it did not violate state law. It found instead that Detective Terrence McGinn improperly used the lab to investigate 11 cases involving gunshot residue from 2006-2011. He was an adjunct chemistry professor at the college at the time.

"Which does not give him any kid of of official standing at the university, but it did create an appearance that the college was actually sanctioning his work," said Inspector General's office spokesman Bill Reynolds.

The office instructed SUNY-ESF to review its practices surrounding the lab. The college told The Post-Standard in April that it has occasionally lent lab equipment to the police department.

The investigation has been turned over the to Attorney General's office.

Syracuse Police spokesman Sergeant Thomas Connellan declined to comment, citing the open investigation. Detective McGinn is still actively on the force, he said.

McGinn faces a fine of $7,500.

NYS Inspector General's report on SUNY-ESF forensics lab

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