Police Commission asks for crime lab investigation 

While the California Attorney General contemplates whether to charge Deborah Madden for her alleged dalliances in the evidence she was supposed to be analyzing, the Police Commission has finally insisted on hearing the outcome of the police’s investigation into the case.

At the Police Commission hearing Wednesday, police Chief George Gascón gave a brief update on the Madden investigation, saying that the department’s investigations, both criminal and administrative, were complete. There had been a handful of pieces evidence that needed analysis, and those had been completed and handed to the state Attorney General’s Office last week.

Gascón said, as he has in previous meetings, that he is reticent to give a public presentation on the investigation’s outcomes before a decision on whether to prosecute is made.

Police Commission member Jim Hammer noted that “the Attorney General’s Office can take a very long time to make a decision.”

He said the commission has a responsibility to the public to answer and explain what happened in the crime lab and requested a date by which, regardless of whether the attorney general’s office has made their decision, the police commission can hear the results of the investigation.

In the end, the commission and Gascón agreed to have a closed session Wednesday on the results of the investigation, and to also give a public presentation about the actions the Police Department have taken to prevent a situation like this from arising in the future.

“We can certainly talk [publicly] about all the administrative fixes that have been done to mitigate the likelihood of having a reoccurrence, or certainly having a reoccurrence that goes on for some time without being noticed,” Gascón said. “We can never guarantee that human beings will not commit crimes, but we can guarantee that we have systems that will pick it up quickly.”

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Katie Worth

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