San Francisco Sheriff’s Future Weighs Heavy Mayor Lee’s Mind

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — It promises to be a busier weekend than normal for San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee. He is now faced with the decision of whether or not to keep Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi in his post.

Mirkarimi will be sentenced Monday after pleading guilty last week to misdemeanor false imprisonment charges stemming from an incident last New Year’s with his wife Eliana Lopez.

The highly publicized incident and Mirkarimi’s brief domestic-violence trial now weigh on the Mayor’s mind. Under the City Charter, the mayor has the ability to suspend the sheriff for official misconduct.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

Lee said he’s still grappling with the case to determine if Mirkarimi’s admission of guilt in this case, as part of a plea bargain, is enough to satisfy that criteria.

“I’ve engaged our city attorney and they’ve got about seven inches of documents that I must review this week and I’m doing homework,” Lee said.

In an effort to get all the facts he’s also requested a 50 second cell phone video clip that was at the center of the Mirkarimi trial.

It shows Lopez crying and displaying a bruise she claimed was from her husband during their fight.

Mirkarimi’s lawyer, Lidia Stiglich, said her client would very much like to stay on as Sheriff and still believes he can do good things in that post.

“He’s accepted full responsibility for this incident,” Stiglich said.

If Lee goes with a suspension the matter is then taken up in a hearing before the city’s Ethics Commission.

That commission would then make a recommendation to the full board of supervisors. Nine of the 11 members would then need to vote to officially oust Mirkarimi from office.

Several anti-domestic violence groups have asked for the sheriff’s resignation.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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