Testimony from one of the central witnesses in the case to remove suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from office was dismissed as hearsay on Tuesday.
The Ethics Commission ruled inadmissible much of a written declaration from Ivory Madison, a neighbor of Mirkarimi and his wife Eliana Lopez, according to the San Francisco Appeal online newspaper. In the declaration, Madison claims that Lopez suffered much more abuse.
Madison is a central figure in the case for the 45-second video she shot of Lopez showing a bruise left on her arm when Mirkarimi grabbed her during a Dec. 31 argument. With the video as evidence in a criminal trial, Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to charges of falsely imprisoning his wife. Shortly after, Lee moved to remove him from office.
Lopez has insisted that Mirkarimi did not abuse her and that the proceedings are politically motivated.
Much of Madison's testimony, entered by Mayor Ed Lee and the city attorney as proof that Mirkarimi abused his office and must be removed, is hearsay, the newspaper reported.
"A first-year lawyer could recognize that much of it is inadmissible," Paul Renne, one of the Ethics commissioners, said Tuesday during a hearing. "It's clearly hearsay, and solely for the purpose of poisoning the well in this hearing."
Earlier, Lee made the frank statement that Mirkarimi "ought not to have engaged in the beating of his wife," the newspaper reported.
The video may not be admitted as evidence, the newspaper reported.