PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The troubled state unit that analyzed handwriting in criminal cases has been quietly shut down.
The Oregon State Police didn't formally announce the unit's closure in December 2012, after state police discovered that one of its two handwriting examiners committed a serious error in a suspected murder-for-hire case.
The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/ZZBGnk ) the unit's two analysts were put on paid leave for nine months, and the unit was then quietly shuttered.
The newspaper filed an open-records request and found allegations of bias, sloppy work and dishonesty.
The handwriting analysts handled about 80 cases a year.
State police officials identified 45 cases that required outside reviews by qualified handwriting examiners.
A state police spokesman says it appeared no criminal cases were significantly altered or harmed by the findings.