Another perspective on the Mirkarimi case


We have an interesting opinon piece in this week's paper by a close friend of Eliana Lopez, the wife of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. It gives a very different perspective on the situation than we've seen in the media so far. You can read it here.

Guardian Op-Ed: Domestic violence, a Latina feminist perspective


By Myrna Melgar

Myrna Melgar is a Latina survivor of childhood domestic violence, a feminist, and the mother of three girls. She is a former legislative aide to Sup. Eric Mar.

Eliana Lopez is my friend. I have asked for her permission to put into words, in English, some observations, thoughts and insights reached during our many conversations these past few weeks about her experience with San Francisco's response to the allegation of domestic violence by her husband, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. We hope this will lead to a teachable moment for law enforcement and anti-domestic-violence advocates about cultural sensitivity — and will lead to honest discussions about the meaning of empowerment of women.

We hope that Eliana's experience, and our shared perspective, will prompt some analysis among feminists, advocates, and the progressive community in general about the impact of the criminalization of low-level, first offenses of domestic violence on this one immigrant woman — and the implications for all immigrant women and other women of color.

Eliana Lopez came to San Francisco from Venezuela with hope in her head and love in her heart. She decided to leave behind her beautiful city of Caracas, a successful career as an actress, and her family and friends, following the dream of creating a family and a life with a man she had fallen in love with but barely knew, Ross Mirkarimi. Read more »

Mirkarimi files court petition challenging his suspension


Suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and his new attorney, David Waggoner, today turned to the courts for help, alleging in a petition that Mayor Ed Lee abused his discretion in suspending Mirkarimi without pay, deprived him of due process rights, and relied on untested language in the City Charter that they say is unconstitutionally vague.Read more »

Mayor Lee and high ethical standards


If Mayor Ed Lee thinks that a person who pled guilty to false imprisonment can't do the job of San Francisco sheriff, he's welcome to say that. He would hardly be alone in that position, and it's one that a fair number of progressives support.

But I didn't know whether to laugh or puke when I heard his statement on the suspension:

Sheriff Mirkarimi's actions and confession of guilt clearly fall below these standards of decency and good faith, rightly required of all public officials.Read more »

Editorial: Mayor Lee: Ease off Mirkarimi and help stop the foreclosure crisis


And so the downtown gang (Willie Brown/Rose Pak, PG&E, the Chamber, the big developers et al) used Ed Lee to outmaneuver the progressives and roll Lee into the job of "interim mayor" on condition Lee not run for mayor.  Then Lee kept lying for months about his intentions and saying over and over that he would not run for mayor--until the downtown gang convinced him to run as a way to further damage the progressives. And now, according to news reports, Mayor Lee is poised to file misconduct charges against Mirkarimi for his gulty plea of false imprisonment in the Mirkarimi domestic violence case.

This could lead to an explosive and polarizing scenario where the Board of Supervvisors, in an election year, would be asked to remove Mirkarimi, a former fellow supervisor and political ally, as sheriff or side with him on what has turned out to become a toxic political issue. This would affect at minimum Mar, Avalos, Campos, and Olague in the supervisors' races and Mar, Avalos, and Campos in the upcoming Democratic County Central Committee race. It would also affect any candidate in any race that said a nice word about Mirkarimi.  If anybody thinks the mayor and the downtown gang would be unhappy with this prospect, think again. I recommend that Lee hold off on Mirkarimi, and work to uphold his position as a "unifier," and not become a polarizer and promoter of media and City Hall circuses. Instead of taking on Mirkarimi and the progressives, he should concentrate on such important and timely issues as helping stop the foreclosure process on the thousands of homes facing foreclosure in San Francisco. More: he should go after the big foreclosure banks, starting with the Bank of America and its multi-million dollar short term cash account with the city, and  Wells Fargo, with its national headquarters here in town.b3

More than 1,000 homes in San Francisco are either in foreclosure or at the start of the process. Some 16,000 homeowners are underwater, and as many as 12,000 may face foreclosure in the next 12 months. A report by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment shows that the city could lose $115 million from the reduced property taxes and the costs of carrying out evictions.

That's a crisis — and while the mayor has no direct control over home foreclosures, he ought to be speaking out and joining the protesters who are fighting this cascade of often-fraudulent bank actions. Read more »

Mirkarimi sentenced, absent drama


The drama that hordes of reporters were waiting for didn't happen. District Attorney George Gascon's threat to "bring up" at Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's sentencing the notion that Mirkarimi didn't really think he was guilty vanished. Read more »

Jeff Adachi on Gascon and Mirkarimi


Jeff Adachi, the public defender, who has been trying criminal cases for a quarter century, had some interesting comments on District Attorney George Gascon's latest move:Read more »

Gascon and the Mirkarimi plea deal


The Mirkarimi case has taken another strange turn: The district attorney, George Gascon, just told the Chronicle that he doesn't think the sheriff really thinks he's guilty, and wants to raise that at his sentencing March 19.Read more »

Opinion: SF needs police domestic violence policy


EDITORS NOTE: This story includes a correction. The original version misstated the disposition of Judge McBride's charges.

 Read more »

Why Mirkarimi pled guilty


Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi didn’t want to cop a plea. He knew the damage it  would cause to his political career and he was prepared to fight the charges. But when it became clear that he was losing every single motion around the admissibility of evidence, even when he and his attorney, Lidia Stiglich, were convinced they were right on the merits -- and when it was clear from juror surveys that virtually everyone in town had read the salacious press accounts and it was impossible to find a neutral jury, he decided he had no choice.

Read more »