By Todd Wineburner
After last night’s county board meeting, the Livingston County Sheriff’s department now has easy access to the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Lab, and Sheriff Marty Meredith says it’s a positive change. The lab provides a variety of investigative services, and will be used in the investigation of the 30-year-old case of Joe Edwards, who’s accused of murdering his adoptive parents in 1983. The lab is a membership-based facility, and last night’s agreement authorizes a payment of just over 23-thousand dollars to cover membership until early 2014. Board member Carolyn Gerwin expressed reservations about the expenditure, saying that she thought the costs were excessive for such an old investigation. Meredith explained that the agreement with the lab covers much more than that single case. With the new agreement, the county will have virtually unlimited access to the lab’s services. Gerwin ultimately voted in favor of the measure, saying that having access to the lab for current investigations was a worthwhile investment. Gerwin supported the idea of using the crime lab operated by the Illinois State Police, and which is available at no charge to the county. Meredith said that his department had no complaints with the state’s crime lab, and that they would continue to use those services as well. The intergovernmental agreement passed with overwhelming support.