SFPD Crime Lab Supervisors Demoted

Thursday, Aug 19, 2010  |  Updated 9:19 AM PDT
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SFPD Crime Lab Supervisors Demoted

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Police Chief George Gascon would not discuss the reason for the actions or those involved, calling them a "personnel issue."

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Two high-ranking members of the San Francisco Police Department have been demoted in the wake of the department's crime lab scandal.

Multiple sources within the department confirmed this week that Assistant Chief Kevin Cashman and Cmdr. John Loftus have been demoted to captain. The changes are likely to be effective Friday.

Police Chief George Gascon today would not discuss the reason for the actions or those involved, calling them a "personnel issue." Gascon did say that decisions have not yet been made about who will be moving into any newly opened positions.

Cashman, one of the department's three assistant chiefs, currently heads the operations bureau; Loftus heads the department's criminal  investigations office.

The demotions come five months after Gascon ordered a halt to drug testing at the Police Department's crime lab amid allegations that former lab criminalist Deborah Madden had taken small amounts of cocaine from evidence between October and December of last year.

The district attorney's office has since had to drop hundreds of drug cases. A criminal investigation into Madden's alleged behavior at the lab has not yet yielded any charges.

Gascon has said he first learned of the allegations in late February, though it was clear some in the Police Department and the district attorney's office knew about problems involving Madden much earlier.

Cashman and Russ Giuntini, former chief assistant district attorney in San Francisco, exchanged emails in late November about Madden not  showing up in court to testify about drug cases in which she tested the evidence. Giuntini retired in June.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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