Mirkarimi wants to be reunited with son

January 31, 2012 9:05:45 PM PST
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi wants a hearing in family court quickly in order to see his 2-year-old son. Mirkarimi was booked on domestic violence charges earlier this month and has been barred from seeing his son.

Mirkarimi's new attorney said she would move quickly to try to have the restraining order lifted. Now she's filed a petition and is hopeful a family court judge will consider the issue this week.

The petition filed in family court, is the latest motion in the case. It asks that Mirkarimi be allowed to see his 2-year-old son Theo. The sheriff made the same request last week in superior court and was denied.

ABC7 has learned that family court Judge Ron Albers will take up the visitation issue, most likely on Friday.

Mirkarimi has been barred from seeing Theo since Jan. 13 after being charged with domestic abuse stemming from a New Year's Eve incident with his wife Eliana Lopez. One of the three misdemeanor charges against him is child endangerment, but Mirkarimi's attorney Lidia Stiglich tells ABC7 that there's no basis.

"Child protective services investigated these incidents and found them to be unfounded; any allegation of neglect and abuse were found to be unfounded, he's a good father," Stiglich said.

The petition appears to show that Mirkarimi's contact with his wife could be limited to hand offs of their son, but Stiglich says she's leaving that up to the court.

"Whatever details they put in place that make them comfortable, that's fine as long as the sheriff can see his son, that's the goal here," Stiglich said.

The district attorney's spokesperson says prosecutors are not represented in family court.

The mayor has expressed concerns Mirkarimi might be too distracted by the legal proceedings to effectively run a department with some 1,000 employees. Jan Dempsey is the undersheriff, the second in command who has worked in the department for more than 30 years, and she says it's operating smoothly.

"The sheriff is paying attention to the day to day operations of the department; he's focused on his job, he's visible to his workforce," Dempsey said.

Dempsey came out of retirement to temporarily help the department. She says Mirkarimi has interviewed 17 applicants to take her position and has at least three other key spots that must be filled, all while juggling legal proceedings and a trial scheduled to begin next month.