San Francisco News

Mirkarimi loses challenges; Prosecutors question story

Thursday, April 19, 2012
Mirkarimi loses challenge; Prosecutors question story Mirkarimi loses challenge; Prosecutors question story Mirkarimi describes what led to fight with wife

It appears suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi will face a full ethics hearing Monday that could cost him his job.

Thursday afternoon, a judge issued a preliminary ruling that denies Mirkarimi's request to have his suspension tossed out. It was Mirkarimi's second legal loss of the day. He was in court earlier over an even more specific question about what the city charter allows the city attorney to do, but outside court, the city attorney's office was talking about something else, namely discrepancies between what Mirkarimi said on the radio Wednesday and what the evidence shows.

Ross Mirkarimi's lawyers argued that City Attorney Dennis Hererra should be removed from the suspension proceedings because he's not allowed to represent Mayor Lee, who suspended Mirkarimi, and the city's ethics commission at the same time. However, the ethics commission solved the problem by hiring outside counsel and the judge denied the request. "The charter says the city attorney is supposed to represent the ethics commission. They've decided they don't want to do that. They'd rather carry water for Mayor Ed Lee. We think that's wrong," Mirkarimi's attorney Shepard Kopp said.

During a radio interview Thursday, Mirkarimi gave his first public explanation of how he bruised his wife's arm in December, saying it happened after an argument about a trip she had planned to Venezuela with their son. "A horrible quarrel had started between my wife Eliana and I. It was a somewhat familiar subject about an impending trip that she was going to take to Venezuela. She'd taken one six months earlier where she and my son Theo had been away, out of the country for over two months. That was excruciating to be apart from my family," Mirkarimi said.

But today, the city attorney's office questions his version of events. "We have amassed evidence of what he was actually doing," Deputy City Attorney Sherri Kaiser said, stopping short of saying Mirkarimi did not tell the truth. "We don't think that the explanations that are being offered now are particularly credible and we are prepared to go forward with the ethics committee with evidence to show why they not ," she said.

"All I can tell you is that I've taken responsibility for what has occurred and being held accountable for it now, and that has already been adjudicated," Mirkarimi said in response to the claims.

Mirkarimi's lawyers will try again Friday to have the suspension overturned outright, but if the judge upholds Thursday's ruling, the ethics commission hearing begins on Monday.

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Tags:
ross mirkarimi, crime, san francisco news, heather ishimaru
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