SF Mayor Denies Perjuring Himself During Mirkarimi Hearing

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has denied allegations that he gave false testimony on the witness stand at suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s official misconduct hearing.

Mirkarimi’s attorneys claim Lee lied under oath when he testified that he had not discussed Mirkarimi’s suspension with members of the Board of Supervisors. They also claim Lee was not truthful about authorizing behind the scenes negotiations to offer Mirkarimi a job within his administration in exchange for his voluntary resignation as sheriff.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Lee issued a statement Wednesday that called those assertions a “reckless and outrageous” strategy meant to distract the Ethics Commission and the Board of Supervisors.

Lee’s statement describes the original reasoning behind trying to permanently remove him from office. Lee maintains that Mirkarimi’s guilty plea to an act of domestic violence impairs his ability to perform his job and falls below the standards expected of public officials and constitutes official misconduct.

The legal team for Mirkarimi has requested that the Ethics Commission subpoena four people for questioning about Mayor Lee’s testimony—Building Inspection Commissioner Debra Walker, former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague and businessman Walter Wong.

Linnette Peralta Haynes, who managed Mirkarimi’s campaign for sheriff, has been tentatively scheduled to testify first when the official misconduct hearings resume on Aug. 18 and 19.

Mirkarimi’s wife Eliana Lopez plans to fly back from Venezuela to testify in person on one of those days, according to her attorney, Paula Canny.

“Eliana believes that it is the strongest statement that she can make to support her position that the mayor was wrong to remove Ross, is to personally appear,” Canny said.

The commission could hear from former Sheriff Michael Hennessey on Thursday.

Then the commissioners will recess until August 16.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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