San Francisco Sheriff Officially Suspended; Interim Sheriff Sworn In

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Ross Mirkarimi was officially suspended as San Francisco’s sheriff Wednesday following his conviction in the domestic violence case involving his wife.

Following the serving of papers to Mirkarimi’s new attorney, David P. Waggoner, notifying him of the suspension, Vicki Hennessy was sworn in as interim sheriff by Mayor Ed Lee Wednesday afternoon.

Lee announced Tuesday that he was going to suspend Mirkarimi on official misconduct charges, which will prompt a hearing by the city’s Ethics Commission and then a decision by the Board of Supervisors, which will need nine votes from the 11-member board to oust Mirkarimi from office.

Mirkarimi, 50, pleaded guilty last week to misdemeanor false imprisonment in connection with a Dec. 31 incident in which he grabbed his wife’s arm during an argument, causing a bruise.

Download: Suspension Documents From SF City Attorney (.pdf)

He was sentenced on Monday to three years’ probation, 100 hours of community service, 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and other penalties.

Later Monday, Mirkarimi met with Lee, who asked him to resign or face suspension.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Mirkarimi refused to resign, holding a news conference Tuesday outside the sheriff’s department in which he said, “I do not believe that the conduct that I have taken responsibility for constitutes official misconduct within the meaning of the law.”

However, the written charges filed by the city attorney’s office against Mirkarimi with the Ethics Commission and Board of Supervisors argue that his actions do constitute official misconduct, which is partially defined in the city charter as “conduct that falls below the standard of decency, good faith and right action impliedly required of all public officers.”

Another part of the definition of official misconduct in the city charter is “any wrongful behavior by a public officer in relation to the duties of his or her office,” which the city attorney’s office argued also relates to Mirkarimi’s case.

Among the arguments by the city attorney is that the false imprisonment charge he pleaded guilty to conflicts with his ability to oversee the city’s jails and his ability to interact with the city’s adult probation department is compromised since he is currently on probation.

Waggoner was not immediately available to comment on the city attorney’s filing.

After Mirkarimi was officially suspended, Lee swore Hennessy in as interim sheriff in a ceremony at the mayor’s office.

Lee said, “I trust her, I know her, I know that she will be a great leader for the sheriff’s department.”

Hennessy said, “This was a difficult time for the city … this is not necessarily a celebration for me becoming the sheriff but it’s me agreeing to be the sheriff so we can get the work done.”

Hennessy is the first female to lead the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department. She had retired in 2011 after previously serving as chief deputy of the department and as executive director of the city’s Department of Emergency Management.

Hennessy is not related to former Sheriff Mike Hennessey, who served as sheriff for 32 years before retiring last year, although Lee accidentally spelled Vicki’s last name as Hennessey in a letter included in the city attorney’s written charges.

Police Chief Greg Suhr and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White were also present at the swearing-in ceremony.

Hayes-White said Hennessy “has a lot of credibility” because of her 30-plus years in law enforcement.

Hennessy said she planned on getting right to work this afternoon by meeting with her staff and setting agendas for the next few days.

San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs Association President Don Wilson, who said earlier this week that morale within the department had been affected by the Mirkarimi case, said in a statement today, We look forward to working closely with the new sheriff to continue our work protecting the citizens ofSan Francisco.

As for Mirkarimi, he will face the public hearing by the Ethics Commission, which will take place at least five days from today. The commission will then transmit the full record to the Board of Supervisors, which will decide Mirkarimi’s fate.

Mirkarimi served on the board for seven years before being elected sheriff last November.

Mirkarimi will also return to the San Francisco Hall of Justice on Thursday afternoon for an hour-long probation orientation meeting, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Omid Talai.

He will be joined by several other people convicted of domestic violence-related offenses at the orientation, Talai said.

A spokeswoman for the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women issued a statement Wednesday afternoon supporting Mayor Lee’s action to suspend Mirkarimi. “The Commission heard public testimony from numerous advocates addressing domestic violence that there is no confidence that he can perform his duties effectively,” said the statement from spokeswoman Aimee Allison. “With Interim Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, we have an opportunity to move forward.”

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

  • Disgusted

    Mirkarimi looked and sounded extremely ARROGANTwith a lot of SELF ENTITLEMENT on the news last night so as a concerned citizen I seriously doubt his leadership qualities.

  • NO Sympathy

    The man is well known as a BIG “A hole” within City hall and in the political world here in SF. Ask anyone in SF politics’s and NO one feels bad for this man. He’s getting what he deserves

  • Cal Real

    Right. Let a right wing DA trump up phony charges, destroy a man’s life over a bruised elbow case. Then a pushover mayor appoints this new Hennesy woman to pad her bank account when she’s already retired— so now she’ll get a double dipping pension I bet. SF Is SO completely corrupt and wasteful.

    • NRA Life Member

      Ross, izzat you?

      • Cal Real

        Im telling you man its trumped up…”they” never do this to any elected official who is part of the official democratic structure of SF politics. Who is protecting “them” in their Bubble is the real question here…the
        The City should be investigating waste and abuse in the budget up there, not Ross and Elenas and Theos little games on New Years Eve. That’s baby stuff.

  • CBS 5 Poll: SF Wants Mirkarimi Out As Sheriff « CBS San Francisco

    […] RELATED CONTENT: Download The Complete CBS 5 Poll Results Data (.pdf) Mirkarimi Officially Suspended; Interim Sheriff Sworn In […]

  • Dan

    Mirakami is an arrogant, self serving “entitlement” politician. There is no room for him in San Francisco politics and Ed Lee made quick work of getting rid of him. Kick him to the curb Ed…San Francisco needs a more centrist poltiical agenda and the far left had better watch their step. True San Fransicans are tired of leftist agendas and want change..this is the first positive step in that agenda

  • Steve

    I find it odd that Fire Chief White was there as she was accused of domestic violence by her husband and was never removed from office. Google: San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes White Domestic Violence.

  • SF Sheriff Mirkarimi Temporarily Allowed To Return Home « CBS San Francisco

    […] March 21, Mayor Ed Lee suspended the sheriff without pay on official misconduct charges. Mirkarimi is currently awaiting a hearing by the city’s Ethics Commission on the charges and has […]

  • SF City Attorney Fires Back At Mirkarimi’s Suspension Appeal « CBS San Francisco

    […] Mayor Ed Lee suspended Mirkarimi, 50, after the sheriff pleaded guilty to false imprisonment charges in connection with a Dec. 31 incident in which he allegedly grabbed and bruised the arm of his wife, Eliana Lopez, during an argument. […]

  • Mirkarimi Seeks To Remove SF City Attorney From Suspension Case « CBS San Francisco

    […] Mayor Ed Lee suspended Mirkarimi, 50, after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor false imprisonment charge in connection with a Dec. 31 incident in which he allegedly grabbed the arm of his wife during an argument. […]

  • Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Mirkarimi Tells His Side Of Story « CBS San Francisco

    […] San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirakarimi has spoken out in his first extended interview since being suspended by Mayor Ed Lee. He said that he has been anxious to tell his side of the story because it has been eating at him […]

  • SF Judge Denies Motion To Remove City Attorney From Mirkarimi Case « CBS San Francisco

    […] suspended Mirkarimi from the sheriff’s post after Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of false imprisonment to settle the […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Guide To The Holidays
Shine A Light On The Holiday Season With ‘Giving Tuesday’

Listen Live