Removal of Mirkarimi Challenging for Ed Lee

Removal of Mirkarimi not easy for Mayor Ed Lee.

Many want Ross Mirkarimi gone, now that San Francisco's sheriff plead guilty to a charge stemming from an alleged incident of domestic violence between him and his wife. But Mayor Ed Lee's path to remove the embattled lawman is difficult, if not impossible, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

A public official can be removed for "official misconduct," according to the newspaper. Under that rule, the Mayor can suspend a public official, but nine members of the 11-member Board of Supervisors must vote to remove the official. The official can then appeal to the Board of Appeals, which can determine that wrongdoing was not related to the job.

Mirkarimi, 50, had yet to be sworn in as sheriff when he allegedly grabbed and bruised his wife, Eliana Lopez, during a New Year's Eve argument. Video of what appears to be a bruise on Lopez's arm was taken by a neighbor. Mirkarimi was charged with three misdemeanor counts of domestic violence, but plead guilty to fourth charge of false imprisonment on Monday in return for the other charges being dropped before his trial began.

On Monday, Mayor Ed Lee appeared to suggest that Mirkarimi was clear to be removed, but on Tuesday, Lee told media that he’s "seeking more detail from prosecutors about the nature of the false imprisonment, which he said could pose a conflict, considering the sheriff’s primary role is overseeing inmates in local jails," the Examiner wrote.

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