San Francisco News

Panel to meet again in Mirkarimi ethics case

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Eliana Lopez SF Ethics Commission

Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi will be center stage at City Hall tonight as the city's ethics commission holds its second hearing in his misconduct case. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee suspended Mirkarimi after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in a domestic violence case.

As they got set to meet Tuesday, there was a last-ditch effort to keep a key piece of evidence, the video of a bruised and tearful Eliana Lopez, under wraps. Lopez's attorney Paula Canny field a brief with the ethics commission Tuesday afternoon saying The tape would be extremely prejudicial not only to Mirkarimi, but to her client and their 3-year-old son as well.

The five-member ethics commission has met once before on this misconduct case. Now, after reviewing briefs from both sides, the panel is expected to decide the procedure and protocol to follow. Will there be live witnesses or written testimony? What about thae emotional video made by Mirkarimi's neighbor? Pictures taken from that video show his crying wife pointing to a bruise he made grabbing her arm during an argument on New Year's Eve.

Lee said Tuesday that everyone, not just the commissioners behind closed doors, should be allowed to see it. "Ultimately, I think the public will demand and I think there's no constriction on it. So, they'll demand that they also be allowed to see it as well," he said.

The ABC7 News I-Team's Dan Noyes travelled to Venezuela earlier this month to interview Lopez who desperately wants to keep the video out of the public eye. "Is it really right to release the video? Don't think about my son or my career, my life, my family?" she asked.

As her husband fights to get his job back, he's finding some support in an online petition calling for the mayor to reinstate him, but a recent poll shows public opinion is not on his side. The survey by FM3 Research found 76 percent of those polled support the mayor's decision to suspend the sheriff. 14 percent disagree and 10 percent don't know. But what the ethics commission thinks and then the board of supervisors is what ultimately matters.

Tuesday is not the day of the "big event" in terms of a trial-like session, but the commission may decide if Lopez's video will go public even though attorneys for both Lopez and Mirkarimi have done everything they can to prevent that from happening.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
ross mirkarimi, domestic violence, eliana lopez, ed lee, san francisco news, carolyn tyler
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