The ethics hearing to remove Ross Mirkarimi, is underway. Jean Elle reports.
It's a "smear" campaign that's being waged against suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, the embattled former official told media ahead of a series of key hearings to decide his future.
Mirkarimi has been on a series of hot seats since Dec. 31, when he grabbed his wife's arm hard enough to leave a bruise. He has since been suspended without pay from his job of sheriff, following pleading guilty to false imprisonment, according to reports.
Mayor Ed Lee moved to remove Mirkarimi from office. Those proceedings continue Tuesday evening at the Ethics Commission, where Mirkarimi and his attorneys will argue that the charges do not amount to official misconduct, according to the San Francisco Appeal online newspaper.
Ahead of the hearings, Mirkarimi blasted Lee and the other officials who seek his removal.
"What they're doing is throwing whatever they can against the wall," he told reporters. "They're piling on an immense amount of smear."
The mayor and other city officials have "gone so far down, there's no pulling back," he said, according to the newspaper. "I've taken responsibility for what's occurred with my wife and I ... that doesn't disqualify me from being sheriff."
Mirkarimi's wife, Eliana Lopez, and son, Theo, are in Lopez's native Venezuela. Mirkarimi has been barred from seeing his wife, who says that she supports her husband and opposes the city's removal process.
The Ethics Commission will make a ruling to either reinstate Mirkarimi as sheriff or recommend removal to the Board of Supervisors. Nine of the 11 members of the Board would need to agree to remove him.