Mirkarimi continuing fight to stay sheriff

August 22, 2012 10:32:06 PM PDT
Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi dismissed a poll showing voters want him gone as sheriff as a robo-call poll, specifically designed to elicit negative responses. He and his wife Eliana Lopez say they're overwhelmed by the positive reactions they receive when they are out and about in the city.

Mirkarimi is reconnecting his family, trying to make up for lost time when he and his wife and son Theo were separated, first by a court order after he was charged with domestic abuse back in January and then by her extended stay in Venezuela.

Last week, the couple held hands as the Ethics Commission voted 4-1 finding the suspended sheriff guilty of official misconduct.

"I think the Ethics Commission; I was impressed with the level of thoughtfulness, I respectfully disagree," Mirkarimi said.

The misconduct decision stems from an incident on New Year's Eve when Mirkarimi bruised his wife's arm. He pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge, though his wife insists she was not a victim of domestic violence.

"Well I think we are ignoring something that is very important in domestic violence is the intent, if you want to hurt someone. He never want to hurt me," Lopez said.

Lopez says no one asked her opinion before charging her husband. The two call the mayor's effort to remove him a political witch hunt.

"You open the door then going after any enemy or opponent or somebody they want to stifle, wound or remove," Mirkarimi said.

Now the action moves to the Board of Supervisors, where Mirkarimi spent seven years. He needs three votes of support to be reinstated.

University of San Francisco political analyst David Latterman is looking at Mirkarimi's progressive allies John Avalos, David Campos, Christine Olague, Eric Mar and Jane Kim to possibly support him.

"Those are the five people whose names are always in play as to will Mirkarimi get three votes among them," Latterman said.

But it is an election year for all of those supervisors except Kim and that could determine the outcome.

"I think 11-0 is possible," Latterman said. "I mean progressives...nobody really wants to turn domestic violence into a wedge issue."

The case could ultimately wind up in court. Whatever happens, don't expect Mirkarimi to simply call it quits.

" I know that's what some say, spare us, they've got this fatigue of too much of this," Mirkarimi said. "I don't blame them, but they're wrong in the way they are going about it."

Mirkarimi says he was democratically elected and those who want him out have the options of a recall or the re-election process.


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