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JANICE HAHN.jpgLos Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn is ramping up her use of San Francisco's troubled crime lab in her quest for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor on June 8.

Hahn and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom are two self-identified progressive Democrats vying for the nomination to become the state's second-in-command. Hahn's campaign staff has publicly questioned what Newsom knew about the lab's problems.

Last Friday the campaign submitted a public records request to Newsom's office seeking e-mails and other documents related to the lab.

The lab was shut down in March in the wake of explosive allegations that former technician Deborah Madden had absconded with drug evidence. Prosecutors have dismissed hundreds of criminal cases as a result of the scandal.

The Hahn campaign's records request seeks memos and e-mails from or to Newsom's office that contain the name "Deborah Madden."

Hahn campaign manager Michael Trujillo, who signed the request, said Tuesday Newsom deserves "points" for having appointed San Francisco's first woman police chief in 2004.

But, Trujillo said, "he's also responsible for what happened under that police chief." The chief in question, Heather Fong, resigned from her San Francisco position last August. She hasn't been implicated as responsible for the lab's problems.

Trujillo said Newsom's office responded Monday to the records inquiry by saying the office is working on the request. Trujillo wouldn't go into whether the crime lab might make its way into a Hahn campaign ad as June 8 primary approaches.

Tony Winnicker, spokesman in Newsom's office, said: "We are treating this as a public records request just as from any other member of the public. ... We don't give it special treatment because it's from a political candidate."

Newsom told The Bee in a recent interview that he's sure he's raising much more campaign money than Hahn, and his campaign has internal polling looking good for him.

Hahn has suggested that she -- a woman from Los Angeles -- would better balance the Democrats' slate in November. Jerry Brown -- a man from the Bay Area -- is the Democrat's presumed gubernatorial candidate.

This post was updated with a comment from Winnicker at 2:13 p.m.

PHOTO CREDIT: Los Angeles City Councilwoman and candidate for Lieutenant Governor Janice Hahn talks with an attendee at the California Democratic Convention in Los Angeles on April 17. Reed Saxon/Associated Press.


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