Mayor Ed Lee suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi yesterday, the latest in a sad series of developments involving the former District 5 Supervisor.
Mirkarimi pleaded guilty last week to a charge of false imprisonment stemming from a December 31st argument with his wife Eliana Lopez in which he allegedly grabbed and bruised her arm.
Mirkarimi’s plea resulted in a sentence on Monday of a day in jail, three years’ probation, enrollment in an anti-domestic violence program, and $590 in fines.
But that wasn’t the end of Mirkarimi’s troubles.
Yesterday, after having considered the guilty plea over the weekend, Mayor Ed Lee gave Mirkarimi until late in the afternoon to resign from his post as Sheriff or face removal.
In an afternoon press conference, Mirkarimi announced his decision not to resign, declaring, “I do not believe that the conduct that I have taken responsibility for constitutes official misconduct within the meaning of the law.”
This statement was apparently not enough to satisfy Mayor Lee, who then made good on his promise and suspended Mirkarimi, replacing him with Vicki Hennessy, the former chief deputy of the Sheriff’s Department. Lee indicated he would serve Mirkarimi with misconduct charges today, which, if agreed to by the Ethics Commission and approved by the Board of Supervisors, would result in Mirakarimi’s removal from office.
Mirkarimi served as District 5 Supervisor from 2005 until January of this year, when he was inaugurated as Sheriff. During his time as Supervisor, he was a frequent presence in the Lower Haight. Just this past June, Mirkarimi helped celebrate the completion of the Lower Haight mural, and in September he gave a boisterous address at the Haight and Fillmore fire fundraiser. Given his prominence in the neighborhood, his recent downfall has left many Lower Haighters we’ve spoken with disillusioned and disappointed.
We’ll update with any additional developments.