The circus begins - Page 3

Mirkarimi removal efforts are already getting ugly — and there's still much more to come

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A large crowd came to support Ross Mirkarimi at the May 29 Ethics Commission hearing.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY STEVEN T. JONES

On several critical procedural questions, the commission sided with the Mayor's Office, ruling that the commission decision needn't be unanimous, that guilt could be established based on a preponderance of the evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt, and that normal rules of evidence won't apply, with some hearsay evidence allowed on a case-by-case basis.

The pro-mayor decisions angered the roughly 200 Mirkarimi supporters who packed the commission hearing and an overflow room, many bearing blue "We stand with Ross" stickers and flyers, which had "Respect Eliana" on the flip side. There were only a couple of Mirkarimi critics at the hearing wearing white "I support Casa de las Madres" stickers, referring to the domestic violence group that has been calling for Mirkarimi's removal since shortly after the incident went public.

Mirkarimi got a rousing welcome from the crowd when he arrived at the hearing, his voice choking up and eyes welling with tears as he said, "I cannot tell you, on behalf of me and my family, how grateful we are."

The crowd was boisterous during the proceedings, loudly reacting to some claims by the deputy city attorneys and offering comments such as "Ed Lee is the one you should put on trial," with Hur finally recessing the hearing after an hour and having deputies warn audience members that they would be removed for speaking out.

Renne, a career litigator and the District Attorney's Office appointee to the commission, raised the most doubts about both the standard of guilt and rules of evidence being lower than in criminal proceedings, telling his colleagues, "I have some reservations."

PHONE LOGS

Mirkarimi's team also released to the Chronicle and the Guardian redacted phone records from Mirkarimi, Lopez, and Linnette Peralta Haynes — a family friend and social worker who served as Mirkarimi's last campaign manager. The city has sought to portray Haynes, who has not been cooperating with the investigation, as a conduit to Mirkarimi's efforts to dissuade Lopez and Madison from going to the police on Jan. 4.

Mirkarimi previously told the Guardian that he was unaware that Lopez had told Madison about the abuse incident or that they had made a video of her injury until several hours after Madison had called the police and they had come to the house to talk to Lopez, during which time Mirkarimi was in a series of meetings at City Hall.

The phone records seem to support that claim. They show that Lopez and Haynes — who is close to Lopez and recently went to Venezuela to visit her — exchanged a series of telephone calls on Jan. 4 starting at 11am. Their longest conversation, nearly 40 minutes, occurred at 11:18am.

Neither woman could be reached to describe the substance of that call. At 12:24pm, Lopez sent Madison — with whom she had been communicating by phone and text over the previous couple days — a text message indicating that she didn't want Madison to report the incident to police, but that she would instead go to her doctor to document the injury.

A minute later, Madison called the police to report that Lopez had been abused by Mirkarimi.

Starting an hour later, the records show, Haynes and Lopez called each other but didn't connect until 3:31, when they had a nearly 14-minute phone conversation, presumably discussing the fact that police had visited the house, with Lopez reportedly giving the phone to Madison at one point so Haynes could talk to her.

Comments

Anyone else but Mirkarimi would have had the grace to step down and avoid this circus. He's handling this ethics case the same way he handled the allegations initially, by lawyering up, not admitting to anything, and by trying to limit the evidence which may be presented.
About the only people who think he can win this are 3 people at the SFBG and Mirk himself.

Posted by Judith on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:06 am

and railroaded by the local political machine. Bogus Democrats acting vindictively against a true progressive. Screw that and your pious giftwrap.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:36 am

>"Screw that and your pious giftwrap."

Great intellectual response to her points. Sheer genius.

Posted by Troll on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 9:31 am

Great intellectual response to lillirepublican's post. Sheer genius in doing the same thing you accuse someone else of doing.

BRAVO!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

Your original post that Mirikarimi was being "railroaded" was based on mere speculation and an example of your blind adherence to "progressiveness" (whatever you may think that means) and ill-considered determination to support any individual who takes on that cause, regardless of what they may do or not do.

Your comment was also snide and nasty, lacked reasoning and wholly failed to provide a convincing argument.

If you just want to snark and scream and say how you think things are unfair--without citing even one fact to support your position--by all means you have succeeded.

What you have failed to do, however, is to to persuade anyone to agree with you.

Posted by Chris on Jun. 09, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

been treated. The conviction, sentence and stayaway order were all standard procedure.

What's different here is not the violence and the abuse as much as his attempts to hush it all up. That's consriracy to pervert justice and makes Ross totally unsuitable for that office, even if the DV conviction is not.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 9:39 am

What evidence do you see of a "conspiracy" to "hush it all up"?

Posted by steven on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 10:06 am

not to go to the cops. The delay in reporting the crime to the police. The video that Ross doesn't want released. The texts between Ross and his campaign manager shortly before the campaign manager tried to "talk to" Madison.

Have you even been following the proceedings?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 10:19 am

Yes I have, quite closely from the beginning. It's certainly true that Lopez tried to persuade Madison not to go to the police, and Lopez even says on the video that it was only being made for a possible child custody case. Clearly, she never wanted the police involved, and I don't think that's even a disputable point. But I've seen no evidence that Mirkarimi even knew about Madison's involvement or the video until hours after the police investigation began, let alone that he tried to thwart that investigation.

Posted by steven on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 10:48 am

or not. DV is a crime regardless of the partner reporting it, as surely you know. The law is that way because many victims of DV worry that there will be retaliation if they go to the cops, and some victims have died because of that.

I think everyone would agree that Lopez is safer now than she was 6 months ago, and that is the most important thing.

What role Ross played in the cover up is to be determiend, and Ross should co-operate fully by not fighting the disclosure of video's, photo's, voice, text and email records and not object to witnessess who can shed light on what really happened.

It is highly unlikely that Ross would have ever given himself up to the cops, and he did not. So why is it unreasonable to assume that maybe he took other steps to prevent that?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 11:01 am

@Guest you say: "I think everyone would agree that Lopez is safer now than she was 6 months ago"

Really. The only problem with this quote is that Lopez herself does NOT agree with you.

What Mayor Lee, Judge Wong and others, have done to the Sheriff's wife by releasing that video to the media, against her wishes, is much WORSE than the case against the Sheriff.

These people should be ashamed of themselves for abusing Eliana Lopez in the media. It is much worse than any arm grabbing. Thanks.

Posted by jccourt on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 12:23 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

I believe Eliana when she says she's not afraid of Ross. I believe her when she said that she was never assaulted by Ross at any time. And I believed her in the KGO-Ch7 interview when she said that she was referring to a separate argument that got a little heated, but did not result in an assault (the so-called "prior incident"). And I believe that she sincerely wants justice for Ross and for the well being of her family. Why do you not believe her?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

1) Made a video to protect herself
2) Confided in a neighbor about the abuse
3) Pointed to her bruise in the video and said that this was the second time
4) Was crying and clearly distraught, scared and desparate
5) Ran off to her homeland as soon as she could.

Sure, she's not scared of Ross NOW, but that's because the DV laws are working as they should - to protect her.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

She says right on tape why she made the video on that very tape. She was afraid of losing Theo in the event of a custody battle. That's not the same as being afraid of your husband, which she emphatically and consistently denied. But the media circus around this case has made it impossible for her to be heard. You're just spinning it this way because you can't stand RM, as a progressive, and prefer to believe the worst. Admit it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

the state of a woman who is not afraid of her husband;s next act of violence.

Eliana's misjudgment was not realizing that reporting his abuse would cost him his job - she was counting on that income in her upcoming divorce and alimony battle.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

Just wondering. You appear to know precisely what Eliana is thinking and what her deepest motives are. Yet, I rather doubt that you're her friend or that you even know her. So, I'm curious. how do you do that? Are you omniscient? Do tell.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

Her motives aren't that hard to infer if you observe the totality of her behaviors.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 5:55 am

Just how well do you know Eliana Lopez? If you don't know her, except from what you've heard about her in the MSM, your assumptions about her are laughable. They are certainly not based on observable facts or thorough knowledge of her as a person (in all likelihood, you've never met her). But which behaviors are you referring to exactly? Do tell. Just beware of one thing: They will most likely reveal more about you who you are as a person than saying anything of substance about Ms. Lopez.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

Because she didn't say that. It was the second time they had an argument about her taking Theo to Venezuela. Please watch the KGO video interview with Dan Noyes.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

this was the second time Ross had done that. That much is very clear.

So why did she later lie about it? Probably because she never realised Ross would loe ehr job, and so her gravy train.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

Because she didn't say that. It was the second time they had an argument about her taking Theo to Venezuela. Please watch the KGO video interview with Dan Noyes.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

Because she didn't say that. It was the second time they had an argument about her taking Theo to Venezuela. Please watch the KGO video interview with Dan Noyes.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

What is it exactly that you're objecting to? Look, when Noyes asked about "the second time", he was referring to the incident prior to the Dec. 31 event. That's the prior incident that Noyes was referring to when he mentioned the "second incident". I have been following the case pretty closely and I haven't heard of any other incidents besides these two. If you know of any other(s), please enlighten us.

But let's get back to what Eliana said in response. When Noyes asked her about the "second incident" and whether it had involved an assault on her, her reponse was an emphatic "no, no, no!" Go back and watch it again so that, at the least, you'll have your facts straight next time.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

violence. Clearly she had forgotten the earleir one that she has revealed in the video. Or perhaps her lawyers advised her badly, but it came across as her changing her story.

Anyway, her credibility is shot even though she has some sympathy as a victim of domestic violence - even one incident is one too many and sufficient reason for Ross to go, as 76% of Sf voters believe.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

I guess the assault was so earth shattering that she promptly forgot it. Is that what you're syaing. You're not making sense. Noyes was clearly referring to the incident you say she forget, and she clearly and emphatically denied that her husband assaulted her. According to Eliana, it was a heated argument, that's all. That's what she was referring to on the tape. And she knew what she was saying. Stop trying to spin it. As for that silly push poll, it was clearly designed to influence voter opinion. It proves nothing.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

It's impossible to interpret that any other way if you actually watch the video.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 5:57 am

Evidence can not be prevented from being considered in a public process simply because someone does not want it to be released. Unless there is a law specifically barring its admission, all evidence is admissible, and someone's "wishes" is not a consideration for whether or not evidence should be considered. Moreover, if the review is open to the public, which this one is, then the evidence presented should and generally is open for public review as well.

This is no longer about Ms. Lopez. She is irrelevant in this proceeding. The review is about what Mr. Mirkarimi did or did not do, and whether his behavior did or did not violate the city's ethics code.

If Ms. Lopez is unhappy in San Francisco, then perhaps she should move. However, what she thinks or does not think is completely irrelevant to the issue of whether her husband did or did not violate the law.

Posted by Chris on Jun. 09, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

Joanne Hayes-White.

Funny how this cohort of Mirkarimi haters can wrap themselves up in a anti-domestic violence banner *UNTIL* a few more facts are brought into focus.

Hypocritical liars. (i.e. 99% of Republicans)

Posted by lillipublicans on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

elected position, it's irrelevant here as the Mayor can fire the police and fire chiefs much more easily.

And frankly, I can't see any reason to elect, rather than appoint, a sheriff.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

appoint a mayor and then have the mayor appoint everybody else. Democracy is for chumps.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

There is little to no reason to elect bureaucrats. Just elect someone you trust as CEO and then trust them to appoint go getters.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

Trust in the political patronage system which is the only game in town unless serious steps are taken and maintained to prevent it.

I honestly don't think you are kidding, but when you write "elect someone... as CEO" you don't mean "elect" in the sense of popular democracy, but rather the sort of dollar-democracy we have now in this country. And when you write "CEO" you mean to reveal your true belief that only businessmen and businesses count for anything in this world and that their needs are paramount.

Mayor Lee and this whole anti-Mirkarimi show must appeal to you on a number of profound levels.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 7:12 am

manager rather than as an ideologist, and that is exactly what the city needs - someone who can get things done to a budget and manage managers.

The voters rejected the other guy with his blue-sky thinking and went with a realist and a pragmatist. So, yes, CEO is a decent analogy for the skills a leader needs.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 8:48 am

"Clearly, she never wanted the police involved..."

I think it's clear she didn't know whether to involve the police or just go to a doctor until the 4th. She told Madison that day she'd decided not to call the cops (which Madison had just done (to ask for info, not to open a case)), but there were three days between making the video and Lopez's decision. Everyone keeps talking about the three days like it somehow damns Madison, but no one asks what took Lopez so long to decide. With whom, besides Madison and Callie Williams, did she confer during that period?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

Madison was coaching her and putting a great deal of pressure on her to go to the police. The text messages reveal that Madison told Lopez, "You do know how serious this is?" I have a sense that Lopez was reluctant to go to the police from the start. But she was conflicted because of all the coaching/ pressure coming from her "friend". She has said emphatically that she was never afraid for her safety with Ross. And she has had plenty of time by herself to reconsider. If anything, she has become more determined to fight this. As she said, "this is about justice."

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

to the cops as they fear further abuse. Madison understood that and acted out of genuine concern for Eliana's safety. The video clearly shows a scared, abused, victimized wife.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

Sorry to enlighten you, but you're jumping to a conclusion from a weak premise. First, you assume that because SOME spouses (who get in a heated argument) are afraid to go to the police, ALL spouses in a similar situation are afraid to go to the police. And that every dispute between said spouses necessarily involves assault of one spouse by the other. This ignores any exception to your rather loaded generalization. And you're also engaging in guilt by association, another logical fallacy.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

so common for abused spouses to be scared of escalation. Eliana's fear is quite obvious in that video, despite Steven's claim that she was "acting".

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 5:59 am

In court documents, Eliana said that she and Ivory Madison were laughing together just before they made the video. This is on the record. If Eliana was so afraid, why were they joking about it? Explain that, if you can. No, it seems to me that Steven is right about this. Eliana is a good actress (no disrespect intended). How many times does she have to tell you that she's not afraid of her husband before you understand that she's telling the truth?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

Oh wait, she didn't, she ran away overseas.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

She submitted documents to the court during Ross's ordeal, genius. This constitutes evidence of what occurred during the making of that video. If you recall, she was all lawyered up and was fighting the release of the tape. She said ON RECORD that she and Ivory Madison were laughing right before they made the tape. So, she was clearly acting while the tape was rolling. I don't fault her for that. I think that any mother who feared losing her son would have done the same.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

whatever you claim she said is NOT "on record". It's hearsay.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 11:13 am

Every damn document submitted to a court of law is part of the record. Furthermore, Eliana is one of the only witnesses to what occurred between her and her husband, apart from Theo and Ross himself. So how you can call it "hearsay" is beyond me. I don't think you have a proper understanding of what hearsay is. Google "hearsay rules" and get back to us.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

And I meant to add that she was also a direct witness to what occurred during the making of the video. She was right there, for pete's sake. So to call it "hearsay" is about as absurd as it gets.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

And I meant to add that she was also a direct witness to what occurred during the making of the video. She was right there, for pete's sake. So to call it "hearsay" is about as absurd as it gets.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

And I meant to add that she was also a direct witness to what occurred during the making of the video. She was right there, for pete's sake. So to call it "hearsay" is about as absurd as it gets.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

And I meant to add that she was also a direct witness to what occurred during the making of the video. She was right there, for pete's sake. So to call it "hearsay" is about as absurd as it gets.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

about how many times Ross abused and assaulted her. Her own statements contradicted each other.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

You call it "pressure" and "coaching," I call it "excellent advice." I hope I'd give the same advice if a friend came to me with story and physical evidence Lopez came to Madison with.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 10:14 am

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