Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has announced his appointment of Katie Rutherford (pictured) to that position. Rutherford, a Houston native, says she began her new job March 18.
Robert Soard, first assistant county attorney, says the position is not new but that the Office of the County Attorney sees a need for it to be held by someone with a scientific background. According to the HCIFS website, the institute provides the justice system with services in the disciplines of drug chemistry, forensic genetics, toxicology and trace evidence.
Rutherford says she holds a B.S. degree in biology from Texas A&M University and attended Baylor College from 2006 to 2008 to study molecular and human genetics. She is a 2012 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center.
The county attorney’s office advises the chief medical examiner on laws, regulations and policies affecting the operation of the IFS and provides legal advice on open records requests, subpoenas and court orders for autopsy records. Soard says that Rutherford will do her job with the support of the approximately 90 other attorneys in the office.
“She will be the contact person,” Soard says. “She will make sure IFS needs are being met.”
— Mary Alice Robbins
Robbins is an Austin-based freelance writer and a former Texas Lawyer senior reporter.