A former technician at the San Francisco Police Department's crime lab has been charged in federal court with skimming cocaine from the lab, an allegation that forced its closure and the dismissal of hundreds of drug cases.
A federal grand jury indicted 61-year-old Deborah Madden Thursday on a felony count of acquiring a controlled substance by subterfuge. Authorities say Madden took cocaine evidence from the lab while working there in late 2009.
State prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against Madden, saying there was insufficient evidence that she was stealing drugs she was supposed to be testing. Madden's attorney says federal officials are overreaching in claiming jurisdiction over the case.
Madden was convicted of cocaine possession in San Mateo County, where she lives.