PAY RANGE: EP24






            This is supervisory forensic toxicological work in a laboratory providing specialized services to the Medical Examiner in the area of toxicological analysis and interpretations for the City's investigation of sudden, suspicious or violent deaths.  An employee in this class supervises the disposition of toxicology testing and performs complex toxicological analysis of specimens to determine and quantify poisons present. A significant aspect of the work includes developing methods for performing chemical analyses, determining the reliability of existing tests and methods and interpreting the meaning of analytical results in specific cases.  Supervising subordinate toxicology staff in daily laboratory operations is a major aspect of the work. 

              Work is performed under the general direction of the Medical Examiner and the Forensic Services Director. 


ALLOCATING FACTORS: (The following conditions must be met for a position to be                                                       allocated to this class)


1.      Only one position will be allocated to this class in the Department of Public Health’s Forensic Toxicology Laboratory.




            Reviews investigative and autopsy findings; determines the need for toxicological examinations; confers with pathologists and investigative personnel in evaluating the laboratory findings.

            Plans the overall work schedule of a staff of technical and other laboratory personnel engaged in performing a variety of standard toxicological tests and examinations; reviews test procedures and results to see that predetermined standards of quality and quantity are being met; establishes testing and laboratory procedures and the techniques to be used in conducting standard and special toxicological analyses; trains subordinates in the more complex phases of laboratory procedures and tests; assigns tests; reviews data; approves results of work; prepares final toxicology reports on Medical Examiner's cases. 

            Insures that various sections of the laboratory are operating effectively and efficiently; supervises chemists and technicians working in these sections; determines the need for laboratory equipment and chemicals; writes specifications and requisitions for laboratory equipment and chemicals. 

            Performs complex toxicological analysis of specimens from cadavers to determine cause of death, or if any chemical was present in the body at the time of death; reviews the case work of subordinate toxicology staff. 

             Answers questions submitted to the Medical Examiner's Office regarding poisonous substances; reviews, edits, and evaluates forensic literature related to analytical procedures and interpretation of levels of drugs and chemicals in tissue samples. 

            Acts as consultant on toxicological problems for a variety of city, state and federal agencies; testifies in court as an expert in toxicology. 

            Maintains lists of new drugs; obtains samples and gathers analytical data and methodolo­gies on compounds, develops new methods for the analysis of these compounds; performs or supervises the performance of research leading to new or improved laboratory procedures; oversees storage of controlled substances; responsible for proper retention and disposal of controlled substance evidence in Medical Examiner cases. 

            Administers training programs for medical students and other trainees in various aspects of toxicology; gives lectures on toxicology. 

            Directs the operation of the toxicology laboratory; supervises the maintenance of laboratory records and reports; supervises the retention and disposal of specimens as appropriate; coordinates the release of specimens for testing by outside laboratories.

            Assists the Medical Examiner and Forensic Services Director in planning the laboratory budget.

            Performs related work as required.






•           the principles and practices of toxicology

•           analytical chemistry and of related basic sciences and specialized areas such as biophysics, biochemistry, pharmacology and the instrumentation pertaining to the work

•           current developments in the field of toxicology

•           laboratory research principles and techniques and methods of standardizing and developing new tests and analytical procedures

•           the relationship between physiological action and pharmacology of drugs and their clinical aspects

•           the rules of evidence and legal procedures related to the work




•           the performance of toxicological tests and analyses




•           evaluate and interpret laboratory findings

•           supervise the work of a staff of technical and laboratory employees

•           serve in court as an expert witness


MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE (The following statement represents the minimum training and experience standards which will be used to admit or reject applicants for tests.  Applications submitted by candidates for this class will be reviewed based on training and experience requirements as approved on 9/10.)




            Possession of a master's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in toxicology, pharmacology or analytical or organic chemistry. 




            Possession of a master's degree from an accredited college or university in Forensic Toxicology.





            One year of experience performing toxicological analyses of body tissues and substance to detect, identify and measure hazardous chemicals.





            Two years of experience in a toxicology laboratory performing toxicology work utilizing a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer.




            Supervisory experience in a toxicology laboratory.


THE FOLLOWING CLASS typically meetS this requirement:


Mass Spectrometrist




            Any equivalent combination of education and experience determined to be acceptable by the Office of Human Resources that has included the education and specific experience requirement.


NOTE:            Certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology and a Bachelor’s degree in the physical, medical or biological sciences may be substituted for the above educational requirement. 




            Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of a position in this class.


                                                                                                                 Class Established 2/57

Latest Spec. Revision:

CSC - 8/10

Ad. Board – 9/10