County of Santa Clara Office of the District Attorney by pengxuezhi

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									County of Santa Clara
Office of the District Attorney



DA03 101904                                                                         .
                                                                    Prepared by:.Janice Homen
                                                                                 Executive Assistant I
                                                                  Reviewed by:.Michael J. Gaffey
                                                                               Supervising Deputy DA
DATE:           October 19, 2004

TO:             Board of Supervisors

FROM:

                George W. Kennedy
                District Attorney

SUBJECT:
                Adoption of Salary Ordinance Amendment Adding One (1) Supervising Criminalist and Deleting One (1)
                Criminalist III/II/I in Budget Unit 203




RECOMMENDED ACTION

Introduction and preliminary adoption of Salary Ordinance No. NS−5.04.32 amending Santa Clara County Salary
Ordinance No. NS−5.04 relating to the compensation of employees, adding one (1) Supervising Criminalist position and
deleting one (1) Criminalist III/II/I position.

(Roll Call Vote to waive reading, Roll Call Vote to adopt)




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FISCAL IMPLICATIONS

The recommended actions will have no impact on the General Fund in the current fiscal year. The FY 2005 cost to
implement this action is approximately $ 8,688 and will be absorbed in the department's FY 2005 approved budget. The
annualized cost for this action is approximately $12,542, which will be accounted for in the base budget for FY 2006.


CONTRACT HISTORY

Not Applicable.


REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION

The Crime Laboratory is in need of a technically qualified Supervising Criminalist to supervise the Criminalists
performing DNA analysis in the Forensic Biology I unit.

Forensic Biology I unit needs a Supervising Criminalist who can meet high caseload demands, has experience with court
presentation and testimony, and is technically competent to meet the on−going quality assurance requirements placed on
the laboratory by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board and the Federal
Bureau of Investigation Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories.

Absent a Supervising Criminalist, the six Criminalists in Forensic Biology I unit were reporting to the Assistant Crime
Laboratory Director. Since his retirement on September 24, 2004, they now report to the Crime Laboratory Director. The
position sought would create the appropriate level of supervision and technical review for the Crime Laboratory staff in
the DNA unit.

The Criminalist III/II/I to be deleted is vacant.


BACKGROUND

The Crime Laboratory is a nationally accredited forensic laboratory servicing all criminal justice agencies in Santa Clara
County. Staff Criminalists are divided into four major disciplines, Forensic Biology (DNA), Chemistry/Trace,
Comparative Evidence and Toxicology, each overseen by a Supervising Criminalist.

Forensic Biology is responsible for screening evidence for the presence of body fluids such as blood, semen, and saliva.
Positive samples identified are then subjected to DNA testing. DNA profiles obtained from cases are submitted to the
State and National DNA data banks. There are very strict requirements for DNA testing, including technical and
administrative review by supervisory staff of the line criminalists testing data, conclusions and reports.

During the calendar years 2000−03, DNA submissions increased by approximately 150%. (224 in 2000 to 559 in 2003).
With the increased demand for DNA testing, DNA qualified staff increased so that now that unit numbers fourteen,
nearly twice as large as any other unit at the Crime Lab.




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To maintain efficiencies it became necessary to divide Forensic Biology into two DNA units. In FY 2002, a Supervising
Criminalist position was added to Forensic Biology to ensure each unit had adequate quality assurance and supervision.
After the position was created, no qualified candidate was identified to fill the position. As a result, the position over the
Forensic Biology Unit was deleted in the budget reduction of FY 2004. This action would restore the Supervisiing
Criminialist to oversee the unit.

Since 2003, additional Criminalists have completed their training in DNA work and are now devoted to full−time DNA
work. As a result, the number of cases requiring technical and administrative review has grown to be too voluminous for
single Supervising Criminalist in Forensic Biology and we seek to re−create a second. Unlike in FY 2003, we believe
there now exists a pool of qualified candidates from which we will be able to identify and hire a person.

ESA concurs with this recommendation.

S.E.I.U. Local 715 concurs with this recommendation.


CONSEQUENCES OF NEGATIVE ACTION

The increase in the volume of cases and the absence of a direct supervisor will impact the ability to address technical and
administrative issues, and provide day−to−day supervision and training of the six Criminalists assigned to the Forensic
Biology Unit I of the Laboratory.

Failure to obtain this position will result in delay in final publication of lab reports in forensic biology due to slowdown
of review and approval by supervisory staff as required to meet the quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC)
mandates for DNA testing. The delay in reporting examination results will cause delays in criminal case filings and may
also delay court hearings and trials. This lack of supervision could also adversely impact the speed with which
post−conviction DNA testing is performed and those results are reported.


STEPS FOLLOWING APPROVAL

Upon Board approval, the Clerk of the Board shall notify Shan Wolfram that the transmittal and supporting documents
have been processed.


ATTACHMENTS

      • (Transmittal submitted on Oct 8, 2004 11:58:37 AM − PDF Version)

      • Salary Ordinance Amendment (Ordinances)




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