Poor Deborah Madden, the hard-working 29-year vet of the SFPD's crime lab, is in federal court this week and jury selection just began this morning in her trial for a charge of stealing cocaine from the lab. Madden, 62, was at the center of a 2010 scandal in which it was discovered that drug evidence in the lab had been widely tampered with, leading to the dismissal of hundreds of pending criminal cases. She faces up to four years in jail, if convicted.
Part of Madden's defense, no doubt, will include establishing some complicity from the police department as a whole. Madden said in an earlier statement that "everyone laughed" at discrepancies in the weight of drug evidence, and that she was merely a scapegoat for something that many others did over the years, in terms of swiping drugs.
Madden said she only ever took home "trace" cocaine, the stuff that was leftover on surfaces after testing, and that she'd only started doing it a few months before her December 2009 retirement after a friend suggested it would help her control her drinking. She previously pleaded guilty in San Mateo County court to felony possession for the small amount of coke police found in her apartment.
Previously: Debbie Madden, Cokey SFPD Crime Lab Technician, Pleads Guilty to Felony Posession
Crime Lab Technician Madden Says Everyone "Laughed" About Drug Discrepancies
SFPD Waits Two Months to Investigate Lab Tech Accused of Stealing Cocaine
SFPD Drug Technician Accused of Stealing Cocaine Forces Lab's Closure