Lab-tech’s dispute details surface 

A woman accused of taking cocaine from the San Francisco Police Department’s crime lab was convicted in 2008 for throwing a cordless phone at her domestic partner’s head in a breakup fight, according to a Belmont Police Department report obtained by The Examiner.

Deborah Madden, 60, was arrested on Oct. 2, 2007 after she tossed a silver VTech cordless phone at her partner of 17 years from about 8 feet away. The victim, who was not identified in the police report, suffered a cut to her forehead and police found blood on the floor of the home owned by the two women.

The arrest and subsequent conviction have surfaced now that Madden is under investigation for stealing cocaine from the lab. Last week, police Chief George Gascón said the Police Department “made a mistake” by not disclosing the arrest to prosecutors or the defense bar, which is required by the court.

The Public Defender’s Office has already drafted writs to overturn the convictions of drug offenders in cases where Madden testified, claiming her criminal past could have disqualified her testimony.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi said keeping Madden’s criminal history within the SFPD amounts to a cover up, but Gascón claims it was just an error, and Madden’s conviction would have no bearing on the trustworthiness of her testimony.

The police report shows that Madden called Belmont police to the house the day before for a separate fight. The women had been hitting each other and drinking heavily, according to the report. Police also checked in on the house in August.

“The two have had relationship problems since March of this year,” the report said. “This evening after being involved in a dispute over their relationship, the victim was locked outside of the house by the suspect.”

Madden apparently tried to regain entry by hitting a door with what was believed to be a hammer. Nowhere in the report does it indicate that Madden told officers she worked for the San Francisco Police Department.

Madden’s attorney, Paul DeMeester, last week called the incident a “spat” between two lovers.

A San Mateo County jury convicted Madden on charges of domestic violence and vandalism. She was sentenced to three-years probation and 30 days in jail, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.


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