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Schimel hires lab consultant as criticism over delays mounts

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel has hired a consultant to identify ways to speed up testing at the state crime labs as criticism over delays mounts.

Florida International University’s National Forensic Science Technology Center signed a $42,870 contract with the state Department of Justice in June to review the lab’s operations. The goal is to find efficiencies and study long-term staffing needs.

Schimel’s opponent in November, Democrat Josh Kaul, has blasted Schimel for delays in evidence testing.

According to DOJ’s most recent annual report, the average turnaround time for drug tests has increased from 42 days in 2015 to 80 days in 2017. The average turnaround time for firearm cases increased from 113 days to 171 days and DNA turnaround times have gone from 43 days to 76 days.

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