New lawyer, potential new accuser in Mirkarimi case

January 26, 2012 12:07:52 AM PST
When San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi walks into court Thursday, attorney Bob Waggener will not be by his side. Waggener tells ABC7 he is no longer on the case. Instead, Lydia Stiglich will now represent the Mirkarimi.

Stiglich has had other high profile defendants, including the mother who was accused in 2006 of leaving her young son alone when he was mauled by the family pit bulls.

A new lawyer adds another development to a case the mayor worries is already becoming a distraction. Tuesday, Mayor Ed Lee met one on one with Mirkarimi.

"These are serious allegations and some additional reports have surfaced and I think that causes more time to be had on this; he's back in court on several occasions," Lee said.

There was another bombshell Wednesday; a reliable source tells ABC7 a third accuser has surfaced, willing to testify against Mirkarimi.

It is unclear if she is on the newly-released list of potential witnesses prosecutors plan to call. At the top of the list is Mirkarimi's wife Eliana Lopez. According to court documents, she told a neighbor Mirkarimi bruised her arm on New Year's Eve. The neighbor, Ivory Madison, and her husband are both on the witness list. Also on the list is one of Mirkarimi's ex-girlfriends, who filed a police report this weekend, claiming then Mirkarimi pinned her against a wall while they were dating in 2007.

Mirkarimi is denying the charges and told ABC7 on Tuesday he will not take a leave of absence.

"We'll see, but no, I think it's very important I stick to the duties that I've been ascribed to do and continue to that," Mirkarimi said.

ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson believes testimony from Mirkarimi's ex-girlfriend Christina Flores could hurt.

"The addition of Flores to the witness list is a big addition for the prosecution and a pretty good sized problem for the defense," Johnson said.

Mirkarimi faces three misdemeanor charges for domestic violence. He is due back in court Thursday, when he will try to get a restraining order lifted so he can be reunited with his wife and son. It is unclear if the new lawyer will delay the proceedings.

Mirkarimi supports say they plan to hold a rally prior to Thursday's court proceedings. They say Lopez will attend.

Mirkarimi, who's been a vocal gun control advocate, was forced to surrender three handguns he owns according to court documents -- a SIG SAUER, a Beretta and a Smith & Wesson. If convicted of domestic violence battery, the sheriff would not be able to carry a gun at all.

ABC7's Leslie Brinkley contributed to this report.