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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kamala Harris' Failure to Report Cops' Criminal Backgrounds Now Fodder in AG Race

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 1:11 PM

"I'm here to attack the issues, not another candidate."
  • "I'm here to attack the issues, not another candidate."
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris' failure to disclose the criminal backgrounds of cops testifying in cases her office prosecuted "calls into question ... whether she has the judgment necessary to be California's next attorney general," said former Los Angeles District Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, in a statement Wednesday.

Delgadillo, who is challenging Harris to be the Democratic Party's candidate for California Attorney General, slammed Harris in a debate Tuesday night held at Sony Picture Studios Lot.  Among other points, he attacked the San Francisco District Attorney's failure to release officers' arrest records, and her handling of the SFPD's crime lab scandal. Harris, for her part, told an AP reporter after the

debate that she was "here to attack the issues, not another candidate."

Delgadillo, meanwhile, is just fine with attacking another candidate. Earlier today he sent to reporters a copy of a June, 2004 L.A. District Attorney memo detailing that office's explicit policy advising prosecutors that information regarding testifying officers' criminal history "must be communicated to defense counsel as quickly as possible."

Read it here: Brady Memo.pdf

On Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle published a story detailing how San Francisco police chief George Gascon complained to Harris' office last year that about the District Attorney's lack of a similar policy to disclose testifying officers' own criminal pasts.

In an interview, Delgadillo consultant Kam Kuwata claimed to SF Weekly the recent rash of

bad headlines surrounding Harris' DA record suggested her campaign

was "falling apart."

Nice rhetoric, but a May 10 poll, conducted by Survey USA for several California news outlets, put Harris atop the pile of Democratic contenders for AG with 22 percent, followed by Delgadillo with 16 percent. Undecided respondents made up 28 percent of the survey, suggesting the race could go in any direction.

Update, 4:37 p.m.: Harris' campaign manager, Brian Brokaw, sent us the following note in response to Delgadillo's comments:

"Let me get this straight -- the guy whose hometown paper (the L.A. Times)

called on him to resign as City Attorney after years of scandals and as

recently as last month said he 'was a deep disappointment as Los Angeles

city attorney and has done nothing since to suggest that he would do better

in a higher office' -- is now going on the attack? His cheap shots in last

night's closing statement, after Harris spoke -- ensuring that she would

not be able to respond -- was cowardly and even embarrassing for Rocky, as

most of the audience booed and hissed Delgadillo. Rocky's second try for AG

never got off the ground, and I'm sure we'll hear more of the same from the

flailing Delgadillo and other desperate candidates in the coming weeks."

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