Domestic Violence Groups Call on Ross Mirkarimi to Resign

Group says it is inappropriate for the sheriff to oversee domestic violence programs and fulfill his duties.

A group of domestic violence victim advocates Thursday again called on San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to resign from office or for Mayor Ed Lee to begin the proceedings to remove him from the post.

Mirkarimi, 50, pleaded guilty earlier this week to a charge of misdemeanor false imprisonment to avoid a trial on charges connected to an alleged domestic violence incident on Dec. 31 involving his wife.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday to three years' probation, 52 weeks of domestic violence classes, 100 hours of community service, and will have to pay nearly $600 in fines and fees along with attending family counseling.

Mirkarimi said following his guilty plea that he does not plan to step down as sheriff, which drew the ire of the couple of dozen advocates who gathered outside City Hall Thursday afternoon.

Beverly Upton, executive director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, a network of more than a dozen local agencies, called the case "a national embarrassment for this beautiful, world-class city."

Upton and many of the other advocates held a similar news conference two months ago calling on Mirkarimi to step aside after the allegations against him first came to light.

This case "is about trust, and mine is broken," she said. "We want to send a message to victims and witnesses that they can step forward, that this is a safe city and we care."

In agreement was Kathy Black, executive director of La Casa de las Madres, another organization dedicated to helping domestic violence victims.

The group raised money to put up a billboard inspired by the case in the city's South of Market neighborhood last month.

"The bottom line is we feel it would be improper for the San Francisco sheriff to be overseeing programs and imposing domestic violence sentencing on inmates when he was convicted under similar circumstances," Black said.

"It would be best for everybody involved if he would step aside, and if Sheriff Mirkarimi will not do the right thing, then the mayor and the Board of Supervisors must," she said.

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