Mirkarimi makes appearance at MLK celebration

San Francsico Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and his wife Eliana Lopez just after the district attorney annouced Mirkarimi would be charged with three misdemeanors.

January 16, 2012 12:23:53 PM PST
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi attended a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration this morning, days after being charged with three misdemeanors in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident on New Year's Eve.

Mirkarimi was one of several city officials who attended a breakfast held by the San Francisco Labor Council at the West Bay Conference Center in the city's Fillmore District.

He spoke briefly to reporters after the event, saying, "I came here, of course, in solidarity of supporting Martin Luther King Day every year -- I wasn't going to let anything stop that."

Mirkarimi was charged Friday with one count each of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.

The charges stem from an incident reported by a neighbor of Mirkarimi, who claimed that Mirkarimi's wife, Eliana Lopez, showed her a bruise on her arm where Mirkarimi had allegedly grabbed her, according to a search warrant affidavit.

During a search, police seized a video camera and iPhone used to exchange text messages about the injury.

This morning's breakfast was held several blocks from Mirkarimi's Webster Street home, which he is prohibited from entering as part of an emergency protective order obtained by prosecutors.

Minutes after District Attorney George Gascon held a news conference to announce the charges Friday, Mirkarimi held a separate news conference and said he plans to fight the charges and will not resign as sheriff.

He was then booked into jail later Friday and released on $35,000 bail.

At today's event, Mirkarimi declined to speak further about the case.

"I've said everything I possibly can so far," he said. "Stay tuned."

Mirkarimi is expected to make his initial court appearance Tuesday. If convicted of all charges, Mirkarimi could face a year in prison and three years' probation.

Mayor Ed Lee could also potentially try to remove Mirkarimi from office.

Mirkarimi was sworn in as sheriff on Jan. 8. He was elected in November after serving on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for seven years.