Governor Deval Patrick said today he expected charges to be brought in the scandal over the mishandling of drugs at a state lab.

Asked if he thought former state chemist Annie Dookhan, the figure at the center of the scandal, should be behind bars, Patrick said, “First of all, I’m not a prosecutor. The attorney general is investigating. The State Police is doing exactly what they should be ... doing. The attorney general has to make a decision about charges. I fully expect and indeed I hope, that there are charges.”

“I am very encouraged about the thoroughness of this investigation,” said Patrick, speaking at an event this morning.

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Dookhan admitted that she altered test results, forged colleagues’ initials, and did not perform proper tests on drugs for “about two to three years,” according to a State Police report, the Globe reported this morning.

Dookhan’s actions jeopardized the reliability of drug evidence used in 34,000 cases during her nine-year career at the lab, officials said.