Police Department trying to block crime lab documents

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Attorneys for the San Francisco Police Department are now trying to block documents related to the drug lab scandal already ordered released by Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo.

The request could lead to delays in releasing further information on the investigation into Deborah Madden to defense lawyers. Massullo ordered several documents to be released on Thursday, denying some claims by prosecutors that they were privileged.

Also on Friday, Madden refused to testify in a driving under the influence trial in which she was an expert witness. She asserted the Fifth Amendment guarantee against self-incrimination.

Documents released this week show that top narcotics prosecutor Sharon Woo complained to her superiors in November of “disturbing” problems with the attendance of longtime lab technician Deborah Madden. While the chief attorney in the office, Russ Giuntini, relayed a message of concern to police, it did not include Madden’s name.

On Thursday, Massullo ordered the release of more documents to defense attorneys related to the Police Department’s investigation into Madden, who is suspected of taking cocaine from evidence samples at the crime lab.

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