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Politics

SF Sheriff Mirkarimi’s Political Future Faces Uphill Road After Plea Deal

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Ross Mirkarimi, San Francisco, Board of Supervisors,

Ross Mirkarimi (City and County of San Francisco)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Despite avoiding a trial, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi‘s political future hangs in the balance following the plea deal he has struck in his domestic violence case.

Meanwhile, it could still be a matter of weeks before Mirkarimi is allowed to see his wife, as a stay-away order remains in place

Within hours of the plea bargain announcement, over 1,500 people had voted in a San Francisco Chronicle poll, with 75 percent saying Mirkarimi should resign as sheriff. While Mirkarimi has steadfastly vowed to remain, he could still be removed from office by Mayor Ed Lee and the Board of Supervisors.

Lee also noted there is the recall option. “It is a publicly held office, so to some extent voters have choices in this as well,” said Lee.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

It would take 47,000 signatures to qualify a recall, and petitions could not be circulated before July 8th, which is six months after the sheriff took office.

USF political science lecturer David Latterman said that one way or another, the sun is setting on Mirkarimi’s political career.

“Even if he isn’t removed from office, even if he isn’t recalled, he has to be seen as a lame duck,” said Latterman.

Latterman said that Mirkarimi’s career is permanently tarnished and the prospect of re-election in four years doesn’t look good.

It will be up to a family court to decide if and when Mirkarimi should be allowed to see his wife, Eliana Lopez. Her attorney Paula Canny said that Lopez would like to see the order lifted as soon as possible, but Canny said that the issue won’t be considered by a judge until Mirkarimi begins attending counseling sessions.

“You enroll in your counseling classes and come back and show the court that you’re enrolled in your counseling, and then they set a new appearance and incrementally lift these things,” said Canny.

Golden Gate University Law School Professor Peter Keane said that it’s likely the order will eventually be modified. Keane said that means Mirkarimi may have to offer weekly progress reports to the family court.

“The court isn’t going to keep these two people apart forever,” said Keane.

Mirkarimi will also not be allowed to carry any firearms until that stay-away order is lifted.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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