Investigators are scrambling to determine how many parents may have lost jobs, custody of their children and more after the owner of an Alabama laboratory was arrested for altering the results of drug and paternity tests.
AL.com reports that Ozark, Ala. police officers charged 36-year-old Brandy Murrah with two counts of forgery after authorities received evidence that someone had forged the results of two drug tests performed by A&J Lab Collections, which is owned by Murrah. Now authorities say that the two cases might just be the tip of the iceberg, alleging that multiple drug screenings may have been changed by Murrah, who, despite all appearances to the contrary, I cannot stress enough—is only 36 years old.
Murrah had a contract with Dale County’s Department of Human Resources Dependency court to perform drugs and paternity test on individuals involved in custody cases, but was not involved in criminal cases. The lab company was paid by the individual or reimbursed by DHR, if the testee could not afford it.
“We have no idea at this time how many people did not get their children back because of Ms. Murrah’s alleged fraudulent reports,” Dale County, Ala., District Attorney Kirke Adams told the Dothan Eagle. “In my opinion, all cases affected by Murrah’s alleged actions must be redone in order to be fair.”
While this may sound like a routine case, it highlights the immunity to scrutiny that privilege applies. In 2013, Murrah was arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty to five counts of credit card fraud. She was sentenced to three years probation and yet somehow, the woman who was actually convicted of fraud was allowed to handle sensitive screenings that determined the futures of entire families.
The Murrah investigation was prompted after someone’s drug screening turned up positive. The person called the physician who signed the paperwork and the doctor replied that she did not recall signing the drug test for A&J Lab Collections or Murrah. The Ozark Police Department, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Dale County District Attorney’s Office, Dale County Department of Human Resources and Dale County court officials are now sifting through the dozens of tests that Murrah’s company completed each month to see how many may have been altered.
“We anticipate a lot,” said Adams.
Murrah is currently out on $2,000 bond.