AG-hopeful Kelly rips opponent over recent ruling

John O'Brien May 26, 2010, 1:13pm


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - California Attorney General-hopeful Chris Kelly is firing back at an attack from another candidate with some allegations of his own.

Kelly says Kamala Harris has failed to uphold the law as San Francisco's district attorney, following a Superior Court judge's ruling that said Harris violated defendants' rights by hiding information.

The ruling was reported in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Last Thursday, a Superior Court judge in San Francisco ruled that Kamala Harris systematically violated defendants' civil and constitutional rights, facilitating the release of hundreds -- and ultimately perhaps thousands -- of criminals onto California's streets," said Kelly, a former executive at Facebook.

"Harris' office violated defendants' rights by hiding damaging information about a police drug lab technician and was indifferent to demands that it account for its failings."

Kelly's claims came the day Harris called for an investigation into the funding of his campaign. He is selling his stock in Facebook to finance his candidacy.

Harris urged the Fair Political Practices Commission to take a look into Kelly's campaign fund on Tuesday.

"(W)e demand that the FPPC immediately investigate whether Kelly is improperly financing his campaign, and if it finds that he is doing so, to immediately seek an injunction or otherwise prevent Kelly from further spending any funds which were derived from this illegal loan," states the letter from James R. Sutton, counsel to the Harris Campaign.

"We also demand that the FPPC immediately investigate whether Kelly has failed to disclose sources of his income, and if it finds that he has done so, to immediately seek an injunction or otherwise compel Kelly to disclose who paid him millions of dollars to purchase his private investments."

Kelly has contributed $9.6 million to his campaign. He says Harris' complaint is an effort to hide the judge's ruling.

The ruling surrounds Deborah Madden, a crime lab technician who was convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence in 2008. The judge said Harris' office did not volunteer the information to defendants, who could have used it to challenge Madden's credibility.

Harris' office said it relied on police to provide the information, the report says.

Harris and Kelly are part of a crowded field of Democrats seeking the party's nomination.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at

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