Ex-DPS scientist claims he was retaliated against for court testimony

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An ex-DPS employee is suing his former boss over testimony he made regarding their testing protocol. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) An ex-DPS employee is suing his former boss over testimony he made regarding their testing protocol. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A former forensic scientist at the Department of Public Safety is suing his bosses, claiming they disciplined him for giving "truthfully testimony under oath."

Greg Ohlson filed the lawsuit on Monday.

He worked in the Toxicology Department in the Scientific Analysis Bureau at DPS from 2004 until 2016.

In 2015, he was in charge of blood tests and would test dozens of blood samples that would make up a single batch. The lawsuit said DPS' policy was not to allow defense attorneys to access the entire batch results through the discovery process, saying it would take too much time.

Ohlson said he was able to do it in 40 minutes, instead of the 2-and-a-half hours originally thought. He said that revealing the entire batch would a way to check for accuracy and show there were no problems with the testing equipment, the lawsuit said.

Ohlson said he came up with an efficient method to access the entire batch documentation within minutes and told his superiors about it in March of 2016, who he claims didn't order him to stop, the lawsuit said.

In May of 2016, he testified in court that releasing the entire batch would be in the public interest and prove the quality of the tests, according to the lawsuit.

But then in June, Ohlson was called into his boss' office and reprimanded for his testimony, the lawsuit said. 

He was also told to modify his testimony to bring it in line with the position of "the laboratory and the other analysts," the lawsuit said, which was not to release all the test results for the attorneys.

In July, he was questioned by the defense in a different case at an evidentiary hearing and he "testified truthfully and complete" about releasing entire batch results and how it's in the public interest to release them, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit claims he was then suspended.

"The department doesn't want to give out the information. They wanted Greg to testify in a certain way. They punished him for not doing that. That's a violation of his First Amendment rights," said Ohlson's attorney Joe St. Louis.

He was later moved to a different department and then retired in November of 2016.

Named in the lawsuit as defendants are Joseph Tripoli, Beth Brady-Morris Timothy Chung and Vincent Figarelli.

The lawsuit doesn't list a dollar amount for damages he is seeking, just whatever a jury "deems just."

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