Legal Bills Played Role in Plea: Ross Mirkarimi

San Francisco sheriff said he wanted to get his family back together.

By Sajid Farooq
|  Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012  |  Updated 11:40 AM PDT
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Legal Bills Played Role in Plea: Mirkarimi

AP

Eliana Lopez and Ross Mirkarimi leave San Francisco City Hall

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San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi surprised many by pleading guilty to a single charge of misdemeanor false imprisonment Monday in his ongoing domestic dispute battle.

The embattled former San Francisco supervisor faces the daunting task of trying to pay his legal bills.

He tells The San Francisco Chronicle's Matier and Ross that his decision to plead guilty to the charge, stemming from an alleged fight between his wife and him about taking their son to her native Venezuela, was the intense media scrutiny, being apart from his family and the spiraling legal costs.

"I want to reunite with my family, and this was the only expeditious way I could," Mirkarimi told the paper.

His legal costs are reportedly around $125,000 and they are only increasing. His sheriff's salary is $199,000 a year.

Friends have offered to host fundraisers for Mirkarimi but the sheriff says he finds it "so humiliating."

But he intends to make good on his financial responsibilities.

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