Ethics Commission Votes Against Ross Mirkarimi

Ethics commission votes 4-1 Ross Mirkarimi committed official misconduct

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Jodi Hernandez

    Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi spent the day in front of the city's Ethics Commission as the commission debated whether to recommend he should be removed from office.

    Inside the hearing Mirkarimi supporters wore "Stand with Ross" buttons. Domestic violence victim advocates wore purple ribbons to represent domestic violence victims.

    The ethics commission voted 4-1 that Mirkarimi was guilty of one count of official misconduct and will now draft a formal document to deliver to the Board of Supervisors.

    The commission will approve that document at a meeting on a date to be determined. That means there will be at least one more ethics committee meeting before the issue will be handed over the board. 

    Even then, the commission's vote is not the final word. If the commissioners follow through and recommend Mirkarimi should be removed, the matter then goes to the full Board of Supervisors where the debate will start all over.

    The board debate isn't expected to begin until October.

    The board would need at least nine votes to approve  the ousting of Mirkarimi, who served for seven years on the board prior to being elected sheriff last November and taking office in January.

    Mirkarimi was suspended without pay by Mayor Ed Lee in March after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment in connection with a Dec. 31 incident in which he grabbed and bruised his wife's arm during an  argument.

    Mirkarimi's attorneys, as well as those from the city attorney's office, which is representing the mayor made their closing arguments before lunch.

    Deputy City Attorney Paul Keith ended his closing argument by saying, "He (Mirkarimi) committed a violent crime. He is not suited to fulfill the trust of this office,"

    The public then had a chance to speak its mind.

    Mirkarimi's mother, Nancy Coleman, was the first to speak. She said "Eliana Lopez is not an abused spouse." She described Lopez as an "independent woman who speaks her own mind."

    Mayor Lee reiterated earlier this week that he thought Mirkarimi's actions fell below the standards of the office of the sheriff.

    "The sheriff oversees some of the country's most innovative  anti-domestic violence programs," Esta Soler of Futures without Violence said  in a statement. "To have a convicted abuser in charge of these programs  fundamentally undermines their credibility and efficacy."

    Mirkarimi was sentenced to three years' probation and other  penalties following his guilty plea in March.
       
    Bay City News contributed to this report.