Mirkarimi takes the stand at ethics hearing


Thursday was D-Day for the embattled Ross Mirkarimi. Mirkarimi answered questions for nearly an hour in a packed room, filled mostly with his supporters.

Deputy city attorney Peter Keith began his line of questioning by going over the sheriff's department's standards of conduct, asking Mirkarimi if the sheriff should be expected not to commit a crime.

"I think the sheriff is the leader of the department and should lead by example and if that also means that the sheriff can demonstrate redeeming behavior, then the sheriff or some of their employees may have that possibility too," Mirkarimi replied.

Mirkarimi told ABC7 News on Wednesday he was prepared.

"I've been living this every single day for over six months; in some ways, I'm a bit battle trained if you will, so I am very much looking forward to this because I haven't had an opportunity in this kind of forum, in this kind of medium and taking the stage where I'm able to explain from the beginning to where they want me to go," Mirkarimi said.

What he calls his nightmare began on New Years Eve, when Mirkarimi grabbed and bruised his wife's arm during an argument. A neighbor videotaped Eliana Lopez's bruise and just days after he was sworn in as sheriff, Mirkarimi found himself on the other side of the law. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge and the mayor suspended him.

Before testimony beganm the ethics commissioners addressed objections on both sides to exhibit lists. Mirkarimi had objections to declarations from his neighbors about the incident as well as objections to expert testimony the mayor wants to present, including from a domestic violence expert. Thursday evening, the commissioners decided to allow the Lopez bruise video as an exhibit.

Mirkarimi will resume his testimony on Friday, but his supporters say they are happy with the way he's conducted himself so far.

The hearing resumes Friday at 9 a.m. When Mirkarimi is finished answering questions, Mayor Ed Lee is then expected to testify.

Copyright © 2023 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.