Debra J. Saunders

A word about the indictments: They were shoddy too, and not only because parts were handwritten.

Indeed, Sanders and other SFPD biggies may well be vindicated because the grand jury considered Dutto's transfer, the spreading of "misinformation" by police to the press and the department's refusal to hand over documents to constitute felony obstruction of justice. The grand jury charged Sanders for one act alone -- the transfer of Dutto. If that's the crux of the case, it's a stretch.

Which puts the spotlight on District Attorney Terence Hallinan, who should avoid the spotlight -- not that he does what he should do.

Hallinan is a liability here because he brings personal ill will to the prosecutor's table.

Then again, in the Special City, everything is personal. There's animosity between Hallinan and Brown over Hallinan's flirtation with Brown rival Tom Ammiano. Sanders is a Brown crony. Fagan Jr. is the son of top police brass. As The Chronicle's Matier and Ross reported, Sanders' attorneys claimed that Hallinan met with Sanders in December to suggest the Fajita Three "simply admit to a street fight" so that the matter could be disposed of in the same manner that Lockyer handled Hallinan's son's assault case -- for a different brawl.

Sheesh. San Francisco criminal justice circles are incestuous as Russia's last royal family. Everyone thinks the city is so sophisticated, but it's as inbred as Appalachia. Well, the stereotype of Appalachia.

It's time for some new blood in this town.

Debra J. Saunders

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