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Neighbor contradicts Mirkarimi's version of fight

June 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Opening arguments are set to begin Tuesday in the ethics hearing for suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.

In a declaration released Friday, a key witness provides a damaging account of the domestic dispute that put Mirkarimi in hot water.

Ivory Madison lives next door to Mirkarimi and his wife, Eliana Lopez. She says she videotaped a bruise on Lopez's arm. Lopez told Madison that Mirkarimi inflicted it while arguing with her on New Year's Eve.

Madison told the city's Ethics Commission the dispute took place in the couple's home, in front of their 2-year-old son.

"Ross repeatedly grabbed, pulled and pushed her violently. Specifically, she said he slammed her against a wall while grabbing her arm and refused to let go," her statement says.

But Mirkarimi disagrees and claims Lopez was bruised when he tried to keep her from leaving his car with their son.

"Whatever they are trying to do to pile on, to add to the political arsenal that they have and that they're waging against me, I get it. But being out here in the community and walking around San Francisco and to feel the support reminds me as to why we need to fight," Mirkarimi said.

Last month, ABC7 News I-Team reporter Dan Noyes travelled to Venezuela for an exclusive interview with Lopez. She left San Francisco with the couple's child to visit her family March 25.

Lopez described the incident for the I-Team:

Lopez: And then we came back home and I say, 'OK, we cannot talk,' and he grabbed my arm and in the first moment I say, 'Stop.' He stop it. He react like, 'Oh my gosh,' and I said, 'OK, let's go inside.'"

Noyes: He got it, he understood that he shouldn't touch you, he let go--

Lopez: He immediately ... when I said, 'stop,' he stopped.

Madison's statement also details how Lopez described to her friend how her husband treated her and their son: "She said 'he makes me beg for gas money, for money for food, for clothes for Theo, for everything."

Mirkarimi had believed his relationship with his son would suffer if Lopez took the boy to Venezuela. But Madison painted a different picture when she quoted her conversations with Lopez.

"She told me that Ross virtually never cared for Theo and had been alone with him perhaps an hour per month, here and there, over the course of Theo's entire life," her statement says.

Mayor Ed Lee suspended Mirkarimi from his office after the sheriff pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in the domestic violence case.

Mirkarimi said he hasn't seen Madison's statement.


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