SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A coalition of domestic violence victim advocates Thursday called for San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to resign following an alleged incident involving his wife on New Year’s Eve.

Members of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, a network of more than a dozen local agencies, gathered outside City Hall to call on Mirkarimi to step aside from his post, even though no charges have been filed by the district attorney’s office.

“We cannot have elected officials who are under investigation,” said Sharon Johnson, former executive director of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. “These are very serious allegations.”

The case was reported by a neighbor after Mirkarimi’s wife, Eliana Lopez, allegedly showed her a bruise on her arm, according to a search warrant affidavit. During a police search, investigators seized a video camera and iPhone used to exchange text messages about the injury.

Lopez has denied the allegations and is not cooperating with investigators.

District Attorney George Gascon said Thursday he is still mulling whether to file charges, saying a decision will come “either (Friday) or early next week.”

Beverly Upton, executive director of the Domestic Violence Consortium, said, “I am not the judge, nor am I the jury” and said “I think the right thing will be done” by the district attorney.

But “we are here to say ‘Enough,’” said Upton, who had been invited to serve on Mirkarimi’s transition team after he was elected sheriff in November.

He was just sworn in to the post on Sunday after serving on the Board of Supervisors for seven years.

Minouche Kandel, an attorney who specializes in domestic violence cases for the group Bay Area Legal Aid, said Mirkarimi should “take a public stand that he takes domestic violence seriously.”

Kandel said if Mirkarimi does not step aside, Mayor Ed Lee should look into his options for removing him from office.

Lee earlier on Thursday declined comment on what he might do, saying he wanted to wait until he sees whether charges are filed in the case.

“It’s very tempting to try to answer that question, because obviously I’ve been thinking about it, but I think it’s my duty not to make any comments until there’s been a decision made by the district attorney,” he said.

Lee said he has not talked to Mirkarimi since the allegations came to light.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Susan Fahey said this afternoon that Mirkarimi was declining to comment on the news conference by the domestic violence victim advocates and wished to refer all comments to his attorney, Bob Waggener.

Waggener was not available for comment this afternoon. However, he said earlier today that, given the circumstances of the case, if charges are filed against Mirkarimi, he expects them to be misdemeanor charges.

Prosecutors say that if Mirkarimi is convicted of a domestic violence charge, even a misdemeanor, he would have to give up his department-issued gun and could be subject to searches as terms of probation.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (10)
  1. unknown says:

    He must resign period domestic violence always gets worst

  2. jin says:

    If the Mayor calls an electrical malfunction at Candlestick is an embarrassment, then what would he call allegations of Domestic Violence by the Sheriff

    Post your thoughts on this at its a new forum that deals with San Francisco

  3. Concerned Citizen says:

    Ross, the quintessential bully, will not resign, now that he has a most coveted platform, a bully pulpit. He will hold on to this office like a dog holding on to a bone. He must be removed from office.
    I doubt if we’d learn any time soon as to what had really happened on New Year’s at Mirkarimi’s. Ross is quintessentially a liar and a sociopath & he’s already secured Eliana’s silence. One would only hope that the abuse in not ongoing and that the DA, law enforcement and Child Protective Services will not sleep on the switch.
    As for SFSD and the 900 highly dedicated staff, S.F. let you down, you deserve so much better, just be patient and hope Mirkarimi takes his medication on time.

  4. Ann Mason says:

    Yes, we should take domestic violence seriously. However, we don’t yet know what happened — or whether anything happened — in this case.

    Please slow down, keep open minds and wait for an outcome before expressing strong opinions.

  5. Dave says:

    Is Ross going to court Tuesday fighting his criminal matter on tax payers time or is he going to take a personal leave? As for any employee whether working for public or private sector, no one SHALL be on company time or tax payers time to deal with his/her criminal, civil or traffic matter. Will Ross’s matter sets a new standard for all city employees that they can be on tax payers time to deal with their personal matter?

  6. rob198 says:

    I do understand that the wife will not testify. After the threat is done, the victim is offered assurances of no future violence. Only the text messages from the victim to the neighbor may provide information of the severity of the domestic violence. I have a relative who called police because she was made unconscious by strangulation, but luckily she regains conscious as she was dragged. The guy attempted to kill her. She managed to escape the home and ran to a neighbor home and called 911. The following day, as he was in jail, he made promises of immense love and asking for forgiveness. This lady then hated the people that were attempting to prosecute the husband; because she was too much in L O V E with this jealous husband of hers

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