On Sunday, June 30, 2023, the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers recommended disciplinary sanctions against three former assistant attorneys general for their misconduct in connection with the prosecution of Sonja Farak, a chemist who tampered with drug evidence at the Amherst lab. Farak’s misconduct affected thousands of criminal cases.

In a 138-page report, the Board stated:

“The three respondents before us are not accountable for Sonja Farak’s misdeeds. But they are responsible for the role they played in attempting to cover it up. As public officials, they were uniquely situated and obligated to do the public’s business. They failed to do so, with staggering consequences.”

The Board recommended disbarment for Anne Kaczmarek, who was the lead prosecutor in the case against Farak. The report found that Kaczmarek “bears the greatest responsibility. And she displayed the greatest culpability.” It details her efforts to conceal exculpatory evidence that indicated Farak’s drug use and tampering dated back years earlier than the prosecution claimed.

For Kris Foster, who handled court proceedings seeking the concealed evidence, the Board recommended a one-year suspension. The report states that Foster “failed to appreciate her responsibilities as an officer of the court” and “failed to do the basic work of a lawyer” in responding to subpoenas.

The Board recommended a three-month suspension for John Verner, chief of the criminal bureau. The report found that Verner “violated two related Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.3 (diligence) and Rule 5.1(b) (responsibilities of a supervising attorney)” by failing to ensure subordinates complied with their duties.

In its strongest condemnation, the Board stated:

“Thousands of defendants lost time with families and friends while wrongfully incarcerated. Their lives were forever altered. Many of the defendants in the Farak cases were immigrants. Due to their convictions, they likely were deported before the misconduct came to light.”

A copy of the original filing can be found here.