Bomb scare disrupts Mirkarimi ethics hearing

June 29, 2012 11:06:00 PM PDT
Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi took the stand for the second day Friday in his official misconduct hearing before the Ethics Commission.

Deputy city attorney Peter Keith continued pounding Mirkarimi with questions about his responses to reporters following the New Years Eve argument with his wife, Eliana Lopez, which left her with a bruise on her arm.

When asked by reporters then about the incident, Mirkarimi had said it was a private family matter.

"Should the sheriff be referring to a violent incident that's under investigation between a man and his wife as a private family matter?" Keith asked Mirkarimi.

"No," he replied.

The mayor has accused Mirkarimi of trying to dissuade witnesses in the case, one of the charges in the official misconduct hearing. Under cross examination, his lawyer, David Waggoner, tried to put that charge to rest.

"At anytime did you dissuade anyone from any law enforcement investigation?" Waggoner asked Mirkarimi.

"Never," Mirkarimi said.

"At anytime did you ask anyone to destroy any evidence?" Waggoner asked.

"Never," Mirkarimi said.

The mayor briefly took the stand in Friday afternoon, but when the commission president announced that the hearing was adjourned until further notice with no explanation, the mayor was rushed out of the room by his police escorts. It turned out to be a false bomb scare.

The mayor got back on the stand an hour later and was asked if he believed in the power of redemption and would he give Mirkarimi a second chance.

"I came to the conclusion of official misconduct because I believe that the actions that are admitted to and the crime that was perpetrated has to have direct consequences," Lee said.

Late Friday, San Diego's police chief, who was testifying for the mayor, said if he were Mirkarimi, he would resign and that Mirkarimi would have a hard time working with other law enforcement officials because of his record.

The hearing will resume next week.

Lopez's attorney says she will testify, either in person or by video.


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