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Professor accused of running meth lab with son is placed on leave by BU

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  December 6, 2011 06:21 PM

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Update: The Dec. 21 scheduled arraignment of Somerville resident and area college professor Irina Kristy was "advanced and continued" by the court prior to her arraignment, according to a spokeswoman with the district attorney's office. She is instead scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 24. [This update was posted Thurs. Dec. 22]

Boston University has placed a longtime professor on administrative leave two weeks before she is scheduled to be arraigned on charges of running a methamphetamine lab out of her Somerville with her son, school officials said today.

BU is the second college in Boston, after Suffolk University, to place the professor Irina Kristy, 74, on administrative leave in the past week.

Kristy, who lives on Oxford Street -- about 500 feet from Somerville City Hall and an elementary school -- will face charges of "distribution of meth, conspiracy to violate the drug law, and drug violation in a school zone" on Dec. 21 in Somerville District Court, Middlesex District Attorney office spokeswoman Cara O’Brien said last week.

A lecturer in the math department at BU since 1987, Kristy had been teaching three courses each semester before she was placed on administrative leave yesterday, school spokesman Colin Riley said. The school put her on leave Monday following a Globe report on her impending arraignment the day prior.

The BU spokesman has declined to comment further because he said it is a personnel matter. Classes for the university's current semester are scheduled to end Dec. 12, and the last day of exams is Dec. 21.

Kristy also taught math as an adjunct professor at Suffolk from 1985 until last Monday, when "after the university learned of the charges," she was "placed on administrative leave through the end of the semester," school spokesman Greg Gatlin said last week.

"Adjunct faculty are appointed semester by semester," he said. "She has not been appointed for next semester."

More details about the criminal charges against Kristy will emerge at the arraignment later this month, the district attorney office spokeswoman has said.

A court summons was filed against Kristy on Nov. 14 -- the day her son, Grigory Genkin, pleaded not guilty to the same three charges she will face. Somerville District Court Judge Maurice Flynn ordered Genkin be held on $1,000 cash bail.

Reached by phone Saturday afternoon, Kristy said: "I cannot give any comment at this time."

Genkin was arrested last month when, accompanied by his attorney, he turned himself in to authorities, Somerville police have said.

On Nov. 7, in a daylong search of the second-floor residence at 19 Oxford St. that Genkin and Kristy share, investigators from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies recovered evidence that the site was being used to make methamphetamine, Somerville police said in a statement last month.

"A large amount of materials believed to be hazardous" were removed from the property by hazardous materials specialists, and other items believed to be dangerous were detonated by the State Police bomb squad, the statement said.

Genkin is due back in court for a pretrial conference on Dec. 20, the district attorney spokeswoman said.

In an e-mail last week, Somerville Police spokesman Deputy Police Chief Paul Upton referred comment to the district attorney’s office, “since this investigation is already before the court."

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at
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