General Crime

* San Francisco Command Staff Promotions After Demotions

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San Francisco police today named two new assistant chiefs and other members of the command staff. The announcements were made following the recent demotions of Assistant Chief Kevin Cashman and Cmdr. John Loftus to captain. Today, the department said Cmdr. Denise Schmitt has been promoted from commander of the office of administrative services to assistant chief of the office of administrative services, Cashman’s previous position. The change is effective Saturday. Replacing Loftus as commander of the investigations bureau will be Capt. David Lzar.
The department has not directly addressed the demotions, which Chief George Gascon called a “personnel issue.”
Other changes announced today were the promotion of Capt. Tom Shawyer to assistant chief of the office of chief of staff. He will replace  retiring Assistant Chief Morris Tabak next month. Lt. David Mahoney will be promoted to commander in the office of the chief of staff.  Assistant Chief Jeff Godown, who was brought in by Gascon last year after having worked with him at the Los Angeles Police Department, remains assistant chief in charge of the operations bureau. The demotions came five months after Gascon halted drug testing at the Police Department’s crime lab following allegations that former lab criminalist Deborah Madden had taken small amounts of cocaine from evidence between October and December of 2009. The district attorney’s office has since had to drop hundreds of drug cases. Madden has not yet been criminally charged in connection with the lab, though she faces an unrelated cocaine possession charge in San Mateo County. Gascon has said he first learned of the allegations against Madden in late February. However, some in the Police Department and the district attorney’s office knew about other problems involving Madden much earlier. Cashman and the former San Francisco chief assistant district attorney exchanged emails in late November about Madden not showing up in court to testify about drug cases in which she tested the evidence.

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