Under the Dome

Ex-FBI agent will chair Governor's Crime Commission

Chris Swecker, a former assistant director at the FBI, has been named chairman of the Governor’s Crime Commission. Gov. Pat McCrory announced the appointment Tuesday, along with naming several others to the commission.

Swecker, who was the lead FBI agent in North Carolina for many years, conducted an exhaustive audit of how the State Bureau of Investigation crime lab handled blood evidence. The audit, at Attorney General Roy Cooper’s request, found some lab personnel had tailored their reports to favor the prosecution. It identified more than 200 cases where the SBI lab reports did not reflect the results obtained in the laboratory.

Swecker is currently practicing law in his own firm in Mecklenburg County.

McCrory also appointed Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison to the commission. Harrison, elected in 2002, was a member of the State Highway Patrol and has trained search and rescue dogs.

The governor also appointed Gail Mills, co-founder of the Durham Rescue Mission.

McCrory’s other appointments: James “Jay” Gaither Jr., district attorney in Catawba County; James Blanton, a defense attorney in New Hanover County; Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger; Guilford County Sheriff B.J. Barnes; Ivan McLaughlin, a day treatment counselor in Mecklenburg County; Fred “Chip” Hughes, Town of Trent Woods commissioner; Keith Stone, a recently retired captain in the State Highway Patrol.

The crime commission advises the governor on criminal justice issues. It has 38 voting members and six nonvoting members.


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