BALDWIN - As Nassau officials begin to sort out the mess caused by failures at the county crime lab, legal experts say the process could expose the county and its taxpayers to enormous costs.A scathing report released by the state yesterday calls for a review of all tests done at the now-closed county crime lab. All criminal cases that used the lab for evidence processing from 2004-2010 must be re-examined.Attorneys say the retests could amount to a huge expense, but say what could be even more costly are potential civil lawsuits filed by the wrongly convicted. Criminal defense attorney Bruce Blakeman says thousands of convicted persons could be affected. He says civil suits could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to defend and compensate the individuals. Some residents say they're outraged because the county is already coping with budget shortfalls. Others say the costs are worth it if it means guilty people are put in prison and innocent people are not.

Nassau officials would not comment on crime lab costs, nor would they say if taxpayers could be burdened by the process.Probe finds systemic failures at Nassau crime labNassau DA orders retesting of more drug evidenceOfficial: Crime lab troubles go back further than first thoughtFull report on crime lab from NYS Inspector General