SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – An online petition was unveiled Wednesday by a group asking San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to resign from office following his conviction earlier this year.

The website was launched by Citizens for an Accountable Sheriff, a group headed by Andrea Shorter, a member of the city’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Organizers are seeking 50,000 signatures on the petition from people “who are disappointed and do not feel he should be our sheriff at this time,” Shorter said.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

Mirkarimi pleaded guilty in March to misdemeanor false imprisonment for a New Year’s Eve incident in which he grabbed his wife’s arm during an argument, causing a bruise.

Mayor Ed Lee suspended the sheriff on official misconduct charges, but only seven members of the Board of Supervisors voted to uphold the charges, two short of the number necessary to permanently remove him from office.

Shorter said her group, which includes victims of domestic violence and other community members, is asking Mirkarimi to resign so that a costly recall effort can be avoided.

Organizers of a recall would have to collect signatures from 10 percent of the city’s electorate to place a recall proposal before voters. Shorter said costs of organizing such an effort have been estimated at a couple of million dollars.

Mirkarimi has repeatedly said he plans to continue serving in office.

“Frankly I’m focused on tackling the enormous challenges facing San Francisco, like a growing inmate population with serious mental health needs,” he said.

“I understand what my critics are saying, but frankly, everything that has occurred does not disqualify me from being sheriff.”

Shorter said she eventually plans to present the petition directly to Mirkarimi.

“Our hope is through this grassroots, citizen-driven campaign, we will finally compel him to do the right thing,” she said, “to step down as sheriff.”

(Copyright 2011 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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