Management Changes at the Vermont Forensic Laboratory
Waterbury, VT - 2/2015 - On behalf of Commissioner Flynn, the Department of Public Safety is pleased to announce two promotional appointments within the Department of Public Safety’s Forensic Laboratory. The Lab Director’s position, left vacant by the retirement of Peg Schwartz in November, will be filled by Dr. Trisha Conti. Dr. Conti has 9 years of experience at the lab last serving as Supervisor of the Alcohol and Biology Sections. Dr. Conti received a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Dartmouth College.
We are also pleased to announce the promotion of Tara Tighe to the position of Assistant Lab Director. Tara Tighe, M.S., has 17.5 years of experience at the lab serving in positions such as Quality Manager and Supervisor of the Drug Chemistry/Trace Section. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry from Penn State University. The implementation of an Assistant Lab Director’s position recognizes the need to utilize a more cooperative management approach within the laboratory.
This management approach will allow for the Lab to be proactive instead of reactive and represents recognition of the qualifications of both these individuals. It combines the strengths and expanded areas of knowledge contributed by each individual and will improve the management of the laboratory. Commissioner Flynn states both Tara and Trisha are highly qualified individuals and we recognize their scientific and management capabilities. Both have worked in the lab together for some time and have proven to be effective as a team; together they seamlessly transitioned the Blood & Breath Alcohol Program from the Department of Health to the Department of Public Safety in 2012.
The Lab, accredited by ASCLD/Lab since 1999 under the Legacy Program, is transitioning into accreditation under the more stringent ASCLD/Lab-International standards. This change requires the Lab to modify their existing procedures to include additional documentation measures. While this does not directly affect testing methods, it greatly impacts the procedural and documentation aspects of day-to-day work. Now, under new leadership, the VFL is in a position to prepare for the impending assessment and maintain their long-standing accreditation.