San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi Gets New Lawyer in Domestic Violence Case

Mirkarimi faces misdemeanor charges of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness in connection with a New Year's Eve incident involving his wife.

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012  |  Updated 6:29 PM PDT
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Ross Mirkarimi is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday afternoon to seek the removal of a stay-away order preventing him from contacting his wife or son.

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The defense attorney for San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is no longer representing him in his domestic violence case.

Attorney Bob Waggener said via text message this afternoon that he is no longer Mirkarimi's attorney and that Berkeley-based defense attorney Lidia Stiglich will be taking over. Waggener did not give a reason for the move and Stiglich was not immediately available for comment.

Mirkarimi faces misdemeanor charges of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness in connection with a New Year's Eve incident involving his wife, Eliana Lopez, during which their 2-year-old son Theo was present.

He is set to appear in court on Thursday afternoon to seek the removal of a stay-away order preventing him from contacting his wife or son.

Lopez has denied she has a complaint against Mirkarimi, but allegedly told neighbors about the incident and one of the neighbors, Ivory Madison, called police and also took a video of her conversation with Lopez.

The case is set to go to trial on Feb. 24.

In addition, court documents obtained by reporters today indicate that prosecutors plan to call an ex-girlfriend of Mirkarimi to the witness stand during the trial.

A proposed witness list filed by prosecutors in the case includes Christina Marie Flores, Mirkarimi's ex-girlfriend who filed a police report last weekend and has given media interviews saying she dated him between 2007 and 2008.

In the police report, in which Flores remains anonymous, she said Mirkarimi showed a "raging pitbull aggressiveness" and in one incident, he pinned her against a wall and shook her, bruising her upper arm.

Other people on the prosecution's witness list include Lopez, Madison and Callie Williams, another neighbor of the family's Webster Street residence, according to court documents.

Prosecutors also plan on bringing in Nancy Lemon, a domestic violence expert, as well as various police and district attorney investigators.

Mirkarimi has said he will forgo pay during the days he is on trial but stopped short of saying he will temporarily step down from his post as sheriff.

He met on Tuesday with Mayor Ed Lee, who has expressed concerns over whether Mirkarimi can keep up with his duties as sheriff while dealing with the court case.

Mirkarimi said he will not be  taking pay during the days he is on trial for domestic violence. However, he stopped short of saying he would temporarily step down from his post.

Mirkarimi was sworn in as San Francisco's sheriff on Jan. 8 after serving for seven years on the city's Board of Supervisors.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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