SBI: Who was in charge?

August 8, 2010 

A look at the key players involved with the SBI.

Roy Cooper was first elected attorney general in 2000. He oversees the State Bureau of Investigation and deputy attorney generals assigned to represent all state agencies in legal matters. Cooper says several issues raised by The News & Observer concern him; he has asked his new SBI director, Greg McLeod, to study bloodstain pattern analysis, firearms analysis and bureau policies. He replaced his handpicked director, Robin Pendergraft, in late July.

Until late July, Pendergraft was director of the SBI. She was appointed to the position in 2001 by Cooper. Pendergraft is a former Durham County prosecutor and attorney at the Department of Justice. She oversaw 337 agents; about half of those work as examiners in the crime lab. Before she was removed, Pendergraft struggled to explain SBI policies and individual cases but defended thebureau's work.

Jerry Richardson heads the SBI's crime lab. He joined the bureau in 1987 after earning a communications degree and working in public television. Richardson reported to Pendergraft and oversees a staff of 181. He said lab analysts should pursue proper science, not just convictions.

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