The state Senate has approved a bill abolishing Delaware's office of chief medical examiner and replacing it with a new division of forensic science.
The legislation, approved 18-to-2 Thursday, was prompted by a scandal involving evidence tampering and theft at the state drug testing lab, which is part of the medical examiner's office.
Two employees of the medical examiner's office have been arrested, and the chief medical examiner is suspended with pay as officials investigate possible misuse of state resources.
The proposed reorganization gives the chief medical examiner less independence and job security and shift oversights from the Department of Health and Social Services to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
Opponent of the bill expressed concerns about bias in having a law enforcement agency oversee state evidence labs.