Mirkarimi ex-girlfriend alleges abusive behavior

January 23, 2012 7:33:27 PM PST
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is scheduled to go on trial for domestic violence on Feb. 24. Now there could be an unexpected witness: a former girlfriend who is willing to testify to abuse she says she suffered at his hands.

Mirkarimi's attorney Robert Waggener says he knows nothing about a second abuse complaint filed against the sheriff and he says the district attorney did not mention anything during their brief court appearance Monday. But ABC7 talked with the woman on the phone Monday and she says she is willing to testify against Mirkarimi in court.

A former girlfriend, whom ABC7 is choosing not to identify, filed a police report Sunday and told ABC7 she "wanted to show this is part of a pattern" of behavior by Mirkarimi. She says they dated from 2007- 2008 and said in one incident, "He pushed me up against a wall, grabbing my arm and yelling. He caused a bruise that he apologized for."

According to court documents, Mirkarimi's wife Eliana Lopez says he bruised her arm during a New Year's Eve argument and a neighbor photographed it. Monday, as they moved for a speedy trial, Mirkarimi's lawyer said the case is overblown.

"There are a number of reasons why it's overblown," Waggener said. "In terms of the investigation, the publicity, the amount of evidence that exists; that's all I have to say."

Mirkarimi said nothing to reporters Monday.

Mayor Ed Lee is openly questioning whether the legal case will prevent Mirkarimi from effectively doing his job, but says that decision is up to Mirkarimi.

"I will do my due diligence, but I think it's appropriate for me to ask him to make that consideration on his own really because really it's his responsibility to carry out the duties for the public," Lee said.

Mirkarimi heads back to court on Thursday to try to get the order to stay away from his family lifted. Last week a judge issued a restraining order to keep him away from his wife and 2-year-old son until the trial is over.