| Casarez Named to be Crime Lab Board Member |
Mayor Annise Parker named Nicole Casarez, University of St. Thomas professor of communication, to be a founding member of the Board of Directors for the proposed Houston Forensic Science Local Government Corporation, which will oversee the new crime lab the city is forming to be independent from the Houston Police Department.
"I'm honored to have been nominated by the mayor," Casarez said. "The other members of the board are stellar in their accomplishments and I'm humbled to be a part of this team. This is a real step forward for the city Houston."
The proposed Houston Forensic Science Center LGC will provide the city and area communities with accurate and timely analysis of forensic evidence and related services.
“The people I have selected have varied backgrounds in science, law enforcement, public policy, business and defense of the accused,” Mayor Parker said. “Their perspective will be invaluable as we proceed forward toward my goal of a crime lab that is truly independent from law enforcement, prosecutors and political influence.”
The City Council is expected to confirm the formation of the nine-member board at its meeting on June 6.
Casarez is an attorney and teaches journalism, media law, public relations and media ethics at UST. Her investigative journalism students have investigated many capital and non-capital cases, including the case of Texas death row inmate Anthony Graves, which garnered state-wide and national attention when he was found innocent after 18 years in prison.