A story Friday on Page 10A chronicling the SBI's leadership misstated the position now held by Bryan E. Beatty. He is a North Carolina utilities commissioner.
Over the past two weeks, a News & Observer series and a scathing internal audit commissioned by Attorney General Roy Cooper have laid bare a host of problems at the State Bureau of Investigation. Analysts withheld or distorted the results of blood tests in 230 cases. Field agents tailored investigations to please prosecutors or ignored key evidence. These problems span decades. Here's a look at who's been in charge of the SBI during that time.
The N.C. attorney general oversees the State Bureau of Investigation and hires and fires the SBI director.
Roy Cooper: 2001-present
Of note: Cooper has been on notice of SBI problems for years in highly publicized cases such as Floyd Brown, Alan Gell and George Goode, in which SBI agents withheld evidence of innocence, misreported lab results or obtained questionable confessions.
Mike Easley: 1993-2001
Status: After eight years as governor from 2001 to 2009, Easley returned to private life.
Of note: As attorney general, Easley and his staff vehemently opposed opening full police and prosecutorial files to defendants.
Lacy Thornburg: 1985-1993
Status: Thornburg is a U.S. District Court judge in Western North Carolina.
The SBI director runs the state's largest investigative agency, with 337 agents and a $12 million laboratory with a staff of 167. SBI field agents help police agencies across the state investigate serious crimes, while its lab analyzes crime scene evidence such as DNA, blood and firearms.
Greg McLeod: 2010-present
Status: Appointed this past month
Of note: McLeod has spent most of his career as a lobbyist for the attorney general, the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, and the Governor's Office.
Robin Pendergraft: 2001-2010
Status: After being removed in July, Pendergraft is now a senior deputy attorney general in charge of Medicaid Fraud.
Bryan Beatty: 1999-2001
Status: Commissioner, N.C. Industrial Commission
Jim Coman 1993 -1999
Status: Senior deputy attorney general
Of note: One of the state's most senior criminal lawyers and prosecutors, Coman is known for his colorful, blunt-spoken style and loyalty to his staff and colleagues.
Charles Dunn: 1991-1993
Status: died 1996
Of note: Dunn served two terms as SBI director, once in the 1970s.
The SBI counsel is the agency's top legal adviser.
John Watters: 1993-present
Of note: Watters has built a reputation for fighting requests to release information not specifically listed in the state's discovery law, and has been particularly resistant to defense experts observing tests in the crime lab.
SBI crime lab leadership
Jerry Richardson: director: 2002-present
Of note: Richardson has no science education. He graduated with a degree in communications from N.C. State University. During an interview with The News & Observer in July, he struggled to explain the policies of his laboratory.
Al Stevens: 1999-2002
Billy Matthews: mid 1990s
Harold Elliot: 1986 - 1995
Ralph Keaton, assistant crime lab director under Elliot until 1995
Of note: Keaton heads ASCLD-LAB, the agency that certifies the SBI has proper protocol and performs appropriate scientific analysis.