San Francisco News

Mirkarimi charged with domestic violence

Saturday, January 14, 2012
Ross Mirkarimi and family San Francsico Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and his wife Eliana Lopez just after the district attorney annouced Mirkarimi would be charged with three misdemeanors. ABC7 legal expert Dean Johnson weighs in on the misdemeanor charges Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi faces.

At a press conference late Friday afternoon District Attorney George Gascon announced his office is charging Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi with one count each of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.

At the news conference, Gacon said investigators had heard about other incidents involving Mirkarimi.

Just after Gascon announced the charges, Mirkarimi appeared with his wife, Eliana Lopez, at San Francisco City Hall to announce that he would turn himself in to police. He said he has no intention of stepping down as sheriff and plans to fight the charges. Lopez also spoke to reporters, calling the charges "unbelievable."

Friday evening, Mirkarimi had turned himself into the Hall of Justice, where he was booked, photographed and fingerprinted.

According to court documents, Mirkarimi's wife suffered a bruised arm when her husband grabbed her on New Year's Eve. A video taken by a neighbor, Ivory Madison, as well as text messages are in the hands of investigators.

Both Mirkarimi and Lopez have called the alleged incident a "private matter, a family matter."

If convicted of all three charges, Mirkarimi could face up to one year in jail. He could also be forced to give up his department-issued firearm.

Mayor Ed Lee issued a written statement Friday evening saying, "The charges filed today by the District Attorney are extremely serious and troubling. As elected officials, our primary responsibility and focus must always be to fulfill our duties to the people of San Francisco. As Mayor, I must now review the facts and options available to me under the City Charter, but I must also ensure that we do not take steps that undermine the integrity of the criminal justice proceedings underway."

Former Mayor Willie Brown told us the sheriff should step aside, at least for now. He said, "I am of the opinion that any elected official who finds himself in a position involved in domestic violence has to remove himself from any responsibilities until the matter is cleared up."

Mirkarimi is expected to be in court for his arraignment on Tuesday.

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ross mirkarimi, san francisco city hall, crime, san francisco news
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