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Politics

Suspended SF Sheriff Appears In Court; Wife Pens Op-Ed

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Ross Mirkarimi

Ross Mirkarimi talks to reporters after a Family Court hearing in San Francisco, February 8, 2012. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The suspended Sheriff of San Francisco made a brief court appearance Friday to confirm that he’s taking domestic violence classes, as required by the terms of his plea deal in his much-publicized domestic violence case.

“I’m trying to rebuild our life and I am enrolled in classes…it’s not easy but something very important,” Ross Mirkarimi said Friday morning. “For many years, I’ve been a strong proponent that we should have resources like this. Now I’m a pupil.”

The hearing, before Judge Garrett Wong, lasted mere minutes. Mirkarimi confirmed to the court that he’s performing the required community service for a misdemeanor conviction of false imprisonment. But, he said that with the publicity surrounding the case, he did not wish to provide details about where the community work was taking place.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Also at the courthouse, Mirkarimi acknowledged the Op-Ed piece his wife, Eliana Lopez, submitted to The San Francisco Chronicle. The letter, published Friday, describes the news media as a powerful force reporting things in a way designed to bring down her husband.

“I view that, her Op-Ed, quite frankly, as a love letter,” said Mirkarimi.

Lopez penned the Op-Ed piece from her native Venezuela, where she is currently staying to tend to her father, who is ill. Lopez wrote that she and Mirkarimi had a very emotional misunderstanding about potential custody issues at a time when their relationship was struggling. She also wrote that she was never afraid for her safety in the presence of her husband. She expressed similar sentiments about the safety of her son.

KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Reports:

Mayor Ed Lee filed official misconduct charges and suspended Mirkarimi as sheriff after he was sentenced in his domestic violence case. He pled guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment in connection with an incident with Lopez on New Year’s Eve. He was sentenced to 3 years probation, 52 weeks in a domestic violence intervention program and 100 hours of community service.

Mirkarimi’s lawyers are fighting the official misconduct charges and his suspension.

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

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