Today in court, lawyers from the S.F. police department’s legal division and the district attorney’s office looked as if they’re not on the same page.
They were there to wrangle some more over the release of documents in the San Francisco crime lab scandal, this time to the public.
The DA’s office had no objection to KTVU jumping in to fight the police department’s request for a protective order to cover crime lab documents that have already been released, or might be in the future. So Judge Anne-Christine Massullo granted the motion to intervene, filed by attorneys at Farella Braun & Martel. Then police lawyer Kelly O’Haire jumped in, saying she wasn’t served with KTVU’s papers. “I believe I have to be here to protect the police department’s interests,” O’Haire told the judge. So Massullo vacated her order and gave O’Haire more time to look at the KTVU motion.
Leading up to the hearing, the DA’s office had filed the request on behalf of the police department. But then, after lawyers for criminal defendants objected, it was O’Haire who submitted the reply brief on behalf of the police department.
The defendants argue that no protective order was requested when the documents were first released, and that anyway, “it appears the state gave the information to the media.” O’Haire countered in her brief that the police department didn’t release those documents to counsel nor the public or media, so it couldn’t have waived its rights.
Other developments today in the crime lab discovery motions:
- Today’s hearing led Massullo to issue an interim protective order, essentially preventing attorneys on both sides from sending documents to the media until she makes a more permanent ruling Monday. Meanwhile, she asked for more briefing on whether lab technician Deborah Madden has any privacy protections as a police department employee.
- And in a DUI trial that’s just beginning, Judge Newton Lam gave the defense lawyer latitude to cross-examine Madden’s supervisor, Lois Woodworth, on Madden’s 2008 misdemeanor conviction. In 2008 Madden ran tests on the breathalyzer used on the defendant in the case.