Lee: Case must be distracting for Mirkarimi

January 28, 2012 11:10:38 AM PST
Mayor Ed Lee says he is still encouraging San Francisco's new Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to think about resigning amidst a domestic violence scandal.

The mayor seems to be getting increasingly frustrated with Mirkarimi's position not to step down while the court proceedings continue. Mayor Lee made it very clear that he believes all of this must be distracting Mirkarimi from doing his job well.

Mirkarimi poked his head into the city's disaster council meeting Friday. Other than that, his office said he was working at his desk in his city hall office, this on the day after a judge refused to modify a protective order that prevents him from seeing his wife and 2-year-old son Theo during the duration of the trial.

Mayor Lee still was not budging from his position that it is up to Mirkarimi to step down if he feels that the court proceedings are keeping him from doing his job fully. "I would continue to ask him to make that consideration, seriously and strongly," he told ABC7.

The mayor has the option of suspending Mirkarimi, who would then be entitled to an ethics commission hearing on the suspension. The ethics commission would then forward its findings and a recommendation to the supervisors. They would need nine votes from the 11-member board to remove the sheriff from office.

Two more women are now telling police that Mirkarimi once abused them, and that seems to be a growing concern for Mayor Lee. "Because there's so many proceedings coming forth to be known about, I would think you've got to admit there's got to be some level of distraction here," he said.

Lee said he and the sheriff are still talking and that those conversations include the option of stepping down. "We will continue to talk with the sheriff. He did say to me that it's under consideration in his mind. Of course, two days ago, it was one situation and now it's another two days later. So, we'll have a chance to keep that conversation going," he said just as a bystander exclaimed, "You need to fire the sheriff."

Members of the board of supervisors have been conspicuously quiet about the scandal and that is because they have been advised by the city attorney not to comment on this because they may end up voting on the matter if the mayor decides to suspend Mirkarimi.