The Chron has a curious article about former HPD Chief Clarence Bradford, who is now running for District Attorney as the Democratic candidate. I say "curious" because I can't tell if it's a special one-time-only story about one candidate, or if it's the first in a series. I don't think it's the latter, since there's no indicator of such, and since it's awfully early for the Chron to begin its notoriously meager coverage of local races, so one wonders what brought this story on. That's a question I can't answer.
The story focuses on Bradford's tenure as HPD Chief, and it's not particularly flattering, though Bradford does a decent job defending himself.
On the crime lab mess, with its flawed testing of DNA and other evidence leading to overturned convictions, Bradford accepts limited blame.
"What I should have done -- which I didn't see until this all blew up -- I should have at least annually gotten independent audits of the crime lab, as opposed to relying on, like the two previous chiefs had done, this particular supervisor ... stating the crime lab met all the federal standards," he said. "So, yes, that's when I dropped the ball. I relied too heavily on the people with the science and biology degrees."
Bradford, with degrees in criminal justice, public administration and law as well as training by the FBI National Academy and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, considers the lab failures a plus for him now: "I am able to learn from those and move forward. ... That makes me more prepared to go in and deal with organizational issues such as these."
The former chief, however, said he had no intention of reading all of the reports on the two-year, $5.3 million investigation of the crime lab by a team led by Michael Bromwich, a former U.S. Justice Department inspector.
Asked why, Bradford replied: "Because I was part of the process (of the investigation). I am familiar with the reports; I have read the summary of all of them."
The reports repeatedly fault HPD's "chain of command" for lax oversight. Bradford said he disagrees with some of the conclusions.
UPDATE: Alan Bernstein emails to remind me of this Lykos profile from the primaries. He also says we will indeed be seeing more like this, and more about campaign issues, which warms the cockles of my heart.Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 13, 2008 to Election 2008