San Francisco DA candidates attack Gascón on DNA lab memo 

District Attorney George Gascón is coming under fire once again from three of his opponents in the November election.

This time Sharmin Bock, David Onek and Bill Fazio are calling on Gascón to publicly release a memo from former prosecutor and DNA expert Rockne Harmon, who was hired by the District Attorney’s Office after the Police Department’s 2010 crime lab fiasco.

The memo, which was apparently critical of procedures at the DNA lab, was the subject of a recent SF Weekly article alleging that the District Attorney’s Office and the Police Department withheld the document from independent auditors of the lab.

Though the drug unit was closed last year by then-police Chief Gascón after revelations a former criminalist had taken small amounts of cocaine from evidence for personal use, the lab’s DNA, firearms and fingerprint testing units were reaccredited and continue to run.

A joint statement issued by the three candidates Tuesday criticized Gascón for “a failure of leadership that is jeopardizing the hard work of our city’s prosecutors.”

“Gascón should immediately disclose the Harmon memo and confront the issues troubling the DNA Crime Lab,” the three wrote. “Sunshine is the best disinfectant and obfuscation will only make the problems fester.”

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Ari Burack

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