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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Can San Francisco Tap Into Deborah Madden's Pension?

Posted By on Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Deborah Madden is still smiling...
  • Deborah Madden is still smiling...

Disgraced former crime lab technician Deborah Madden will not face any criminal charges, despite triggering a scandal that led to millions of dollars in city costs and a literal Get Out of Jail Free card for thousands of accused drug criminals.

Madden is now free to begin drawing her city pension; with 29 years on the job, she's entitled to somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 percent of her $63,000 yearly salary.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd would like to find out if the city can, in essence, skim some of that money.

Certainly the city can't yank Madden's pension. Doing that would require the former lab tech to have been convicted of a crime of "moral turpitude" on the job. This occurs only a handful of times every decade.

Elsbernd knows this. But he still finds it objectionable San Francisco is now subsidizing someone who "cost the city millions." At today's Board of Supervisors meeting, he announced he has sent a letter of inquiry to the City Attorney's office querying "whether or not we could pursue a civil claim against [Madden]."

The supe is hoping to extract "a financial claim from her." We know she has some money, he notes, because we're sending her tens of thousands of dollars in pension costs.

Elsbernd's suggestion would likely sound reasonable to many disgruntled San Franciscans. Whether it'll pass muster with the city attorney is another story.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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