Tuesday brought another court battles over what can be used as evidence in the ethics commission hearings. This one was not only over Mirkarimi and Eliana Lopez's phone records, but their text messages as well.
Last month, a judge ordered the release of a crucial piece of video to Mayor Ed Lee as evidence in his fight to permanently remove Mirkarimi as sheriff. It shows Eliana Lopez crying over her rocky marriage and displaying a bruise which she says Mirkarimi inflicted on New Year's Eve. The video was subsequently released to the public. "For a man who ran on campaign of civility and decency, it's hard to see how he could go any lower," said Mirkarimi's attorney David Waggoner.
Now, a judge has ordered AT&aqmp;T to turn over phone and text records of Mirkarimi and Lopez made over a two-week period from December 31. The order applies only to calls and texts to and from their neighbor Ivory Madison who shot the video, her husband, another neighbor, and Mirkarimi's campaign manager.
Lawyers for Mirkarimi and Lopez had objected to a broader request by the city attorney to subpoena all calls and texts made by their clients. "You're going to get the date of the call, the time of the calls, the duration of the calls and that's it," said Lopez's attorney Paula Canny.
The city attorney's office says they need the information to prove that Mirkarimi tried to dissuade Madison and others from cooperating with police. The city attorney says in one case, Lopez made a call to Madison's husband Abe Mertens, asking him to convince his wife to stop talking to police. "Mr. Mertens overheard Ross Mirkarimi in the background. That indicates a knowledge on the part of the sheriff that this attempt to stop someone from cooperating with a police investigation was going on," said Deputy San Francisco City Attorney Peter Keith.
The city attorney's office has also issued a subpoena for Mirkarimi to turn over to the mayor all the records from his former criminal case. His lawyers are objecting. The judge balked on making a decision on that request.
He ordered both sides to come back Thursday.