Mirkarimi's wife describes New Year's Eve fight

July 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's wife Eliana Lopez testified for three hours Thursday evening before the San Francisco Ethics Commission. She described what happened the day her husband bruised her arm, leading to domestic violence charges. Mirkarimi's future is at stake.

Lopez arrived at San Francisco City Hall with a smile. Her husband appeared minutes later to cheers from a crowd of supporters.

"It's just wonderful to see my wife and see all our supporters here," Mirkarimi said.

He got to see her for more than three hours as she testified before the Ethics Commission, which is investigating charges of misconduct against Mirkarimi.

Lopez described how her husband bruised her arm the night of Dec. 31.

"He grabbed my arm, I said 'stop,'" she said.

The couple had been arguing.

"Of course I was so angry, he grabbed my arm in front of my son," Lopez said. "Not only that, I think the profanity was worse for me."

Lopez says the couple agreed to on counseling to work on their marriage, something she had wanted for the past year.

"I think he has an irrational fear to lose us each time I have to travel to Venezuela to work," she said.

After the fight, Lopez went to her neighbor, Ivory Madison, who took a video of the bruise and eventually called police. Lopez says it was against her permission.

"I was feeling very betrayed and I was so angry," she said.

Lopez says she wanted the video in case of a divorce, saying, "This is just in case Ross tried to take Theo away from me; if we doesn't go to therapy, if this happen again, who know, if he gets mad and he decide 'I just want Theo for me,' I am covered because I can be deportable."

She says she regrets the video and never wanted it to go public.

Lopez never got to speak to her husband during the testimony, but she did blow him a kiss and said after she was finally dismissed by the commission, "It was great to see Ross, and I just cannot wait, the moment we are going to be toghter, Ross, Theo and me here in San Francisco."

The commission denied Mirkarimi's request to issue subpoenas so more people to testify in the proceedings. The commission is expected to make its recommendation on the sheriff's future to the Board of Supervisors on August 16.

Friday, Mirkarimi and Lopez are expected to appear in court to ask a judge to change the protective order to allow limited contact between the two.


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