MINEOLA - A state Supreme Court judge has denied arequest to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the troubledNassau County crime lab.

Judge William Donnino Thursday afternoon rejected Nassau CountyDistrict Attorney Kathleen Rice's bid to remove her office fromprobing the county crime lab.

The lab was closed last week. Authorities said they'd learnedthat police supervisors may have been aware since September thaterrors were occurring in the analysis of drug evidence.

Rice tried to distance herself from the probe because it mightinvolve prosecuting police officers who worked with her officebefore. Donnino said that alone is not enough to disqualify the DAfrom investigating.She wanted former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eric Dinallo to lead a team in the probe.

The lab was placed on probation by a national accrediting agencyin December.

Rice later released a statement where she said, "Despite the judge?s ruling and my agreement that we are capable ofconducting an impartial inquiry, I believe strongly that only with aprosecutor from outside the system will the public and those accusedhave the confidence they deserve to have in this investigation."AP wire services contributed to this report