SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The San Francisco Ethics Commission on Thursday rejected a request by suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to postpone sending his administrative case to the Board of Supervisors until after the November election.
Mirkarimi’s attorneys submitted the request on Monday, arguing that the board’s vote on whether to permanently remove him from office should not take place while many of the supervisors are running for re-election and subject to political pressures.
Benedict Hur, chair of the city’s Ethics Commission, denied the request in a two-page response issued Thursday, calling Mirkarimi’s arguments “speculative.”
Hur wrote, “There is no evidence suggesting that any member of the Board of Supervisors will disregard the facts and the law and instead vote to sustain the charges based upon perceived political pressure.”
KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:
“We think the Commission made the right decision. The Commission recognizes that the Board is going to make its decision on the facts and the law,” said Deputy City Attorney Peter Keith in reacting to the decision.
The Ethics Commission was tasked by the city charter to conduct fact-finding hearings in the administrative case against Mirkarimi, who was suspended without pay by Mayor Ed Lee in March following his guilty plea to a false imprisonment charge in connection with a Dec. 31 incident in which he grabbed and bruised his wife’s arm during an argument.
On Aug. 16, the commission voted 4-1 to recommend upholding the official misconduct charges against Mirkarimi, with Hur as the lone dissenter.
The commissioners earlier this week ratified their decision and approved the transcripts from the various hearings, but delayed a decision on the postponement request until Thursday.
Hur wrote that the commission will “send the record and its recommendation to the board promptly upon completion.”
Mabel Ng, deputy executive director of the Ethics Commission, said the panel hopes to send the documents to the board by next Tuesday.
“It doesn’t make any sense and it’s not ethical to keep moving forward as if just politics has no role in this case,” Mirkarimi attorney David Waggoner told KCBS.
Once the commission submits the case to the supervisors, the board has 30 days to vote on whether to reinstate or remove the sheriff. The decision to oust him from office would require the approval of nine of 11 supervisors.
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