Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi never uttered the famous words that helped fuel a "runaway train of innuendo" that ended in a courtroom drama following an alleged incident of domestic abuse with his wife, Eliana Lopez.
In an exclusive interview with the Bay Citizen -- which ran in the New York Times's Bay Area edition on Friday -- Mirkarimi said he was never able to tell his side of the story, was misquoted by a San Francisco Chronicle columnist whose error was printed on billboards and used against the suspended sheriff, and was double-crossed by the couple's neighbor, Ivory Madison, who went to police against the couple's will and has since been complicit in a conspiracy to ruin the former supervisor.
Mirkarimi, 50, was sworn in as sheriff in early January. He was charged with three misdemeanor counts of domestic violence following a Dec. 31 argument with Lopez in front of their two-year old son, Theo. Mirkarimi pled guilty to false imprisonment, and has since been suspended from office by Mayor Ed Lee, who is seeking his removal.
Mirkarimi pleaded guilty because he could not get a fair trial in San Francisco because of intense media coverage, he told the newspaper. The false imprisonment, he said, was when he and Lopez were in a car on the way to lunch. He turned the family car around to head back home during an argument. "That was the false imprisonment," he told the newspaper.
Lopez sustained a bruise on her upper arm after Mirkarimi grabbed her. She showed the bruise to a neighbor, Ivory Madison, who took video footage. The video was then given to police.
Mirkarimi was barred from seeing his wife since January and was limited to two-hour visits with Theo.
Lopez, who is now in her native Venezuela with the couple's son, has told anyone who would listen that she was not abused by her husband and that the charges are part of a larger political conspiracy to discredit Mirkarimi and remove him from office.
Mirkarimi will go to court on April 20 to ask a San Francisco Superior Court judge to reinstate him.