TGIF Knucklehead of the Day award Part One
There are just too many dummies in the news today to give just one award.
Our first winner today is Donna Birks. She gets the award for the following.
Note- I previously blogged about Birks in posts here, here and here.
A longtime analyst at the center of a scandal that has all but shut down fingerprint operations at the Seminole County Sheriff's Office resigned in disgrace Wednesday.
Donna Birks handed in her resignation shortly after Sheriff Don Eslinger told Birks that she was about to get fired, Eslinger said.
The Orlando Sentinel first reported last month that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was called in to re-examine hundreds of cases handled by Birks.
So far, the FDLE has found six instances in which Birks identified suspects even though the prints were inconclusive, according to authorities. In the seventh, she pegged the print to the wrong person.
The Sheriff's Office on Wednesday completed an internal investigation into Birks and every other full-time employee in the agency's fingerprint section and announced its findings. Birks lost her job.
"She has absolutely no credibility as a latent-print examiner," Eslinger said.
In a face-to-face meeting Wednesday morning, Eslinger told Birks that she was about to be fired. A short time later, the 49-year-old Edgewater resident sent the office a letter of resignation.
In it, she wrote, "I sincerely apologize for the havoc caused by this situation. . . ."
The Birks story is horrifying and I wonder if we'll ever know how much damage she's done. Are the police and law enforcement going to admit they're wrong. They almost never do. If Birks is found to have put one person in jail, she should be prosecuted for false imprisonment or kidnapping. In at least one case, her testimony helped to put someone on death row. If that conviction is overturned because of Birks, she should be tried for attempted murder. Justice demands no less, the loss of one's freedom and life is something that can't be taken lightly. In the meantime I make Donna Birks today's first Knucklehead of the Day. Trust me when I say Birks is almost certain to be a Knucklehead of the year semi-finalist.(if not finalist)
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