San Francisco News

Mirkarimi's lawyers request subpoenas, allege Lee perjured himself

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lawyers for suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi have formally requested the Ethics Commission to subpoena four people who they say know that Mayor Ed Lee lied when he testified last month under oath.

ABC7 News obtained the requests for the subpoenas from Mirkarimi's lawyers. They are calling into question the mayor's testimony before the Ethics Commission, and they say the four people they want subpoenaed may be able to prove he committed perjury under oath, which is a felony.

The targets of the subpoenas are Christina Olague, who was appointed by Lee to replace Mirkarimi on the Board of Supervisors, building commissioner Debra Walker, Democratic big-wig and former Supervisor Aaron Peskin, and businessman and City Hall insider Walter Wong.

Mirkarimi's lawyers contend Lee lied twice when he took the stand during the Ethics Commission hearing June 29.

"Mayor Lee testified that he had never talked to any member of the Board of Supervisors before he suspended the sheriff," said Mirkarimi's lawyer, David Waggoner.

But Walker says Olague told her the mayor had asked the newly-appointed supervisor for her advice before he suspended Mirkarimi. Olague denies that conversation ever happened.

Mirkarimi's lawyers say Lee perjured himself again when he answered another question. "He also testified that he never asked, or offered, rather, the sheriff a job, either directly or through an intermediary," said Waggoner.

But Peskin says Wong, a friend of both the mayor and Mirkarimi, met with him in March. He says Wong asked him to find out if Mirkarimi would be interested in another city job if he were offered one. Peskin says Wong told him he was acting on behalf of the mayor.

"If those city officials are correct and the mayor did not tell the truth, then in effect, the mayor may have committed a felony while trying to remove the sheriff for a misdemeanor," said Waggoner.

Last Monday, Lee responded to the accusations of perjury. "You know, I've told the truth to the Ethics Commission," he said. "I will continue doing that if called upon."

A statement received by ABC7 News from the mayor's office, says in part, "Reckless and outrageous allegations of perjury have been made about my testimony before the Ethics Commission. But my testimony before the commission was entirely truthful and based solely on the facts."

Ethics commissioners will vote on whether to issue the subpoenas at their next hearing on July 18. If they send out the subpoenas, witnesses could begin testifying the following two days. The hearings are scheduled to end Aug. 16.

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Tags:
ross mirkarimi, ed lee, san francisco news, vic lee
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