Findings Released in Mirkarimi Suspension

Mayor Ed Lee says filing was expected.

By Traci Grant
|  Friday, May 11, 2012  |  Updated 5:42 PM PDT
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Raw Video: Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi Says He Won't Resign

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Eliana Lopez and Ross Mirkarimi leave San Francisco City Hall

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Raw Video: Mayor Ed Lee to Suspend Sheriff

The San Francisco mayor said Tuesday he will file an official misconduct charge against the sheriff over a domestic violence case.

Raw Video: Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi Says He Won't Resign

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi said today he will not resign from his post despite facing possible suspension by Mayor Ed Lee following Mirkarimi's conviction in a domestic violence case involving his wife.
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Ross Mirkarimi is demanding his job back.

Mirkarimi claims that when they mayor suspended him from his job as the San Francisco Sheriff, it was an abuse of discretion and a violation of due process. He is demanding that the City of San Francisco return him to his position immediately, according to court documents filed today.

The writ of mandate filed in San Francisco Superior Court states that Mirkarimi is seeking “injunctive relief” from the city, including an order to set aside his suspension and pay for attorneys’ fees.

Mayor Ed Lee suspended Mirkarimi last week while the city proceeds with an attempt to permanently remove him from office for “official misconduct.” Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment and was sentenced last Monday, in connection with a New Year’s Eve dispute with his wife left a bruise on her arm.

[The city attorney's office has released its findings in its investigation of Mirkarimi's alleged discouraging of potential witnesses in the case.]

Lee demanded Mirkarimi resign from office. When he refused, Lee launched removal proceedings against him. Mirkarimi has been suspended without pay while an ethics commission investigates claims of officials misconduct and Lee brought in someone else to take his place as Sheriff.

Once the investigation has been completed, an ethics hearing is expected to follow. Then the Board of Supervisors, where Mirkarimi worked until he was sworn-in as sheriff in January, will vote on the matter. The entire process could last months or, perhaps, longer.

The court papers argue that “immediate and irreparable harm is occurring as a result of [Lee’s] unlawful actions.” Mirkarimi’s legal team says that the city can only suspend an official for misconduct while that official is in office and the misconduct must be related to the office. Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to an incident that took place nine days before he took office and was “not a crime of moral turpitude.”

Matt Dorsey, spokesman for the City Attorney, says the office “is aware of news reports about the court documents, but we have not seen the documents yet and will confine its comments to formal legal filed in response.”

Mayor Lee told reporters Tuesday at an unrelated event that he expected the filing because Mirkarimi had said he was going to fight the suspension.

Lee said he expects the Ethics Commission to hold a hearing on the misconduct charges in a few weeks.

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