Sheriff Mirkarimi charged with domestic violence

DA George Gascón announces the filing of charges against Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.
Steven T. Jones

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has been charged with three misdemeanors in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident against his wife, Eliana Lopez, on New Year's Eve, District Attorney George Gascón announced this afternoon. Gascón said a restraining order has been issued that bars Mirkarimi from contacting his wife and child and that bail has been set at $35,000, although he was unaware whether Mirkarimi had been booked yet.

Mirkarimi is being charged with one misdemeanor each of domestic violence battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness from testifying. Gascón said their young son, Theo, was present during the incident. Lopez has refused to speak with investigators, but she has publicly denied that her husband has ever abused her.

Mirkarimi has maintained his innocence, as he did again with Lopez by his side during a City Hall press conference held simultaneously with Gascón's press conference at the Hall of Justice. "We believe that these charges are very unfounded and we will fight those charges. I'm confident in the end that we will succeed,” Mirkarimi said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. It was unclear whether the appearance with Lopez violated the restraining order.

Gascón confirmed press reports that Lopez had communicated via text message about the incident with the neighbor who ultimately contacted police – although he refused to disclose or characterize the contents of the communications – and that there was a photo taken of an injury to Lopez's arm. He also said there are indications that this was not an isolated incident and the investigation is continuing. “We have heard there have been other instances,” Gascón said.

The fact that the charges were misdemeanors wouldn't require Mirkarimi's removal from the office he assumed just last weekend if he's convicted, but he has already been required to relinquish any weapons, including his service revolver. He faces a year in jail and three years probation on the charges.

“While we do not relish having to bring charges against a San Francisco elected official, I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of the state of California and as the chief law enforcement officer for the city and county of San Francisco it is my solemn duty to bring criminal charges when the evidence supports such action. No one is above the law,” Gascón said. “Whether this was the elected Sheriff or any other San Francisco resident, this type of behavior is inexcusable, criminal, and will be prosecuted.”

Gascón also said that while Lopez has refused to cooperate, he believes there is ample evidence to bring charges. “A case is always stronger if the victim is willing to testify. However, it is very common for victims to be uncooperative in domestic violence cases," Gascón said, noting that his office filed 771 domestic violence cases last year. He also said, “Regardless of whether the victim supports a prosecution, it is the state's and my office's obligation to ensure the safety of the victim.”


Lying about it just makes you sound, er, a little like Ross, I guess.

Except that you can't tell us that you're "an important man".

Seriously dude, why the obsession with this?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 11:06 am

I was caught only in your little mind. You can't be "caught" for something you never did to begin. Earth to "Guest": a LOT of people agree with me. Just because they may agree with me doesn't mean they ARE me, just like not everyone who agrees with you is you. I've never posted as "Guest." Ever. But whatever. Believe what you want to believe.

While I'm at it, I find it amusing that when I don't post for a few days, people are like "Where's Greg???" Then when I post again, it's "Greg's obsessed." I guess I just can't win.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

It's you so-called "moderates" who are obsessed. You want to string Ross up before he's been tried. Greg is defending Mirkarimi because you are trying to overturn an election, simply because the man in question is someone you don't like: a progressive.

As David Elliott Lewis stated in the first comment on this page, "Innocent until proven guilty. Either you believe in that core legal foundation of our system or you don't. I believe in it." Greg believes in it. Do you?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

Hi I am Greg, and I talk to myself. It makes it seem like there are lots of people who agree with me.
I have single handedly attempted to revive the case against hayes-white.
I also have a shrine to Ross in my bathroom.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

No you're not, I am 'Greg'.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

I have yet to see anyone do what you are claiming here, unless I missed one of your outraged womens studies feminists post.

Your flailing around here is really weird, between you and Eric I thought you were the more sane one.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 9:34 am

is she lying now when she claims it never happened, and that's it's all a giant right-wing conpsiracy?

The only question here is whether Ross hit her. We know he's going to plead "not guilty" because, at an arraignment, all defendants do. But if the violence never happened, then why don't both Ross and his wife speak out and absolutely declare that there has NEVER been any violence?

Oh wait, because they don't want perjury charges added into the mix.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 9:44 am

Just you here, dude.

For some oddball reason you seem intent on defending Mirkarimi, long after a mountain of shitbaggery has been exposed. You're kind of out of ammo on defending Ross, so now you've moved on to this weird defense of Lopez claiming that she's being misunderstood here.

Ok, fine. Seriously fine.

But at some point, you've got to address why this woman is ON TAPE crying discussing the bruise her husband gave her after a manhandling and how it's not the first time. Oh, and how he threatened her with his political power, that too.

Don't fucking worry about self-appointed advocates or political conspiracy or whatever else you're on, lol. Just address what's caused virtually EVERYONE else to believe this guy's a shitbag. Weird...

Posted by Sammy on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:08 am

Just call out the posse and string him up. Seriously, if you had ever worked in the office of a divorce lawyer, like I have, you'd know that things are not always what they seem. Affidavit or no affidavit, we simply do not know what happened, why it happened or the motives of the parties. It could be that Theo is the real victim here. (I just say this because I've seen cases like this too many times.) But, to be fair, we don't know that either.

What is so difficult about waiting for ALL the evidence to emerge in a court of law before passing judgment? Pretending to know everything there is to know when you've merely read about it in the press makes your assertions less than credible.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

As is frequently the case, most posters here are just scratching in the dirt like a bunch of headless chickens. I don't think anyone has condoned domestic violence. There is a more important principle at stake. The 'power of the state' to selectively prosecute and enforce the law. Justice is no longer blind, Lady Liberty has had her eyes gouged out and her hands tied behind her back. I suggest we reflect again on the prescient words of Pastor Niemoller.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:25 am

It is quite possible that Eliana and Ross were having one of those end of the world fights in which both said things they didn't mean and in which he accidentally bruised her while grabbing her arm or holding her to stop her from going nuts or to stop her from leaving. The fight was still going on the next day when Eliana went to her neighbor and gave her her version of events, including asking her to videotape the bruise, because Eliana thought that if things did come to a head, she would have "evidence" that Ross was not fit to be his son's dad.

So the neighbor goes to the cops with Eliana's version and the cops see a DV case in the making and it snowballs from there.

Everyone who knows Ross knows that he does not hold back when he is pissed but he has never gotten physical with anyone, including his ex-partner of 10 years. So, please, people, stop thinking one person or the other is the villain.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:46 am

Even if it isn't hard enough to cause a bruise, which of course it was.

And lots of people who "have never gotten physical with anyone" do then "get physical" with their spouse. Every violent offender has a first time, after all.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:51 am

At 50 years old Ross Mirkarimi decides to become a physical abusre? I think not. His ex-partner has said it wasn't his way--that he always wanted to talk things out. Your judgments make me sad for humanity and hope that you never have to go through what Ross and Eliana are going through. You have no idea what really happened, despite an affidavit. I, for one, am willing to wait and see.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

is called "Battery", if you are or have been intimate with the person it is "Domestic Battery", and the SF DA's office has a zero tolerance stance with any DV Crimes.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 11:39 am

She pretty much nailed it with her comment that she's not just some little Indian girl who needs to be defended from the gringo. She's telling all you white "advocates" to mind your own business.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 11:05 am

LOL - previously he was an ambassador for Persian culture. Now he's a "gringo." What will he morph into next?

FYI - Eliana needs to shut her damn mouth and stop talking to the press - in Venezuela or here. She's making matters much, MUCH worse for her husband. If she really wanted to help she'd STFU until the case at least reaches trial or is plead out. Every time she starts flapping her trap Ross sees his hopes of holding onto the office slipping a little further from his reach.

Part of me wonders if she's doing this deliberately - because in reality she knows he'll never win a custody hearing now and she's the one with the power. It's either that or she's just incredibly tone-deaf as well as stupid.

Posted by H. Monk-Brown CI on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 11:19 am

From a Latin American perspective, Gringo just means "foreigner", particularly someone from the U.S. It has no negative connotation in Spanish.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

Yup, it's the "moderates"....while progressives are, for the most part, sticking up for Eliana and Ross. Let's be clear on that, at least.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

These two are a collective trainwreck.

Ross obviously gets the majority of the blame because he bruised up his wife, then initially attempted to give a response that it was no big deal. Just a "private family matter"... Jesus man, tone deaf much? Did you think that when the details of the video came out you wouldn't be portrayed as a front and center monumental abusive asshole? Some early damage control would have helped. Instead Ross acted annoyed... dumb motehrfucker, lol.

And then you got the wife... oh honey.... Right now you're coming off about 85% classic domestic abuse victim, 10% drama queen with ulterior motives and 5% batshit crazy. You don't get to display bruises and recount abuse on video, then ask the people to just stay out of it.

Anyways, spectacular political fail for a failing political movement. Progressives are "sticking up for Eliana and Ross"? You sure that's the approach you want to take here? Because you guys have hitched yourselves to some pretty broken wagons, but these two are just a disaster. But by all means, go ahead. lol...

Posted by Sambo on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

Oh dear, I'm back again, or is it little willard wannabe.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

That stands for "Certifiably Insane."

And if you think Eliana is helping her "cause" then tell her to just keep on flapping her trap. At this point I'm guessing Ross is gonna be gone in around 30 days - she'll just make it happen sooner.

Posted by H. Monk-Brown CI on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

The identity theft that goes on in the pages of BG is a serious problem. And yet the editors do nothing about it. It is illegal to coopt someone's identity, yet BG editors won't even give us a way to flag this abuse. That's why I no longer post my name on this site.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

Agreed Guest. While the nameless nincompoop above is assuredly Cognitively Impaired, only in his dreams could he lay claim to the rest of the handle he hides behind. Oh well, there's one born every minute, as my old man used to say, "Suffer fools gladly, just be thankful you're not one of them".

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

Eliana needs to shut her damn mouth and stop talking to the press - in Venezuela or here. She's making matters much, MUCH worse for her husband.

Wow, do I love hypocrites! The only person who made matters much worse was . . . yes, you guessed it, Ross ("the wife beater") Mirkarimi. Hey, you get extra points on the now famous "Greg Hypocrite Scale" for blaming the victim. Keep up the good work!

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

Judging from her comic book, Ivory Madison has issues.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

A writer using her imagination is just that~ someone being creative, nothing more. If you do not know Ms. Madison personally, then stop projecting your own issues on her. Ethically, she had a tough decision, whether to report an alleged act of dv or to keep silent. I'm not sure what I would have done in her shoes, but I do know that it was a difficult choice.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

Much less difficult choice to remain silent as the Fire Chief smashes glasses on her spouse's head.

San Francisco Fire Department's "private matter"

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

Ivory Madison is a rich trust fund baby with connections to Phil Bronson (the former Mr. Sharon Stone).

Maybe it was a set-up

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

about 3 months ago. Kind of odd for somebody's whose sole purpose is to destroy him, no? Dumbass, lol.

You guys, Ross manhandeled his wife. I know you *really* want it to be a conspiracy involving the Koch Brothers, Sharon Stone, "downtown interests", George W Bush and Lennar, but no.

The guy's just a shitbag. Accept it.

Posted by Sambo on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

Where did you read that Madison is a 'rich trust fund baby' with connections to Bronstein? You got his name wrong, so what else did you get wrong? Please post that link. Otherwise, it appears that you're confusing Madison with the character in her book.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

I'll stick up for Eliana and her child, but I won't stick up for Ross Mirkarimi. His anger management issues are well-known, and it is unfortunate that the Bay Guardian has not seen fit to devote more space to this matter.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

I too was the victim of Mr. M's anger when I commented to him and he accused me of racism and threatened me to censor my free opinion of him. His loud deep voice and tall arrogant manner hide the pussy he really is inside.
Just saying.

Posted by Guest A long time SF res on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 12:09 am

"This country is trying to pull my family apart. That is the real violence against me."
"I'm not afraid of my husband at all."
It doesn't get much clearer than that, and yet the judge, "a former domestic violence prosecutor", decided that she knows better than the victim. Infuriating and heartbreaking. How can any human being look at this and continue to stand by this mockery of justice?

And wow, Gascon sure was "lucky" to just happen to draw a domestic violence prosecutor as a judge. He probably couldn't have gotten a more friendly judge if he handpicked one himself!

If I were Ross and Eliana, I would motion for a change of venue. Like NOW.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

I think you're the only person on the planet who gives a shit about these two trashballs.

Their behavior from the start has been a unique blend of stupid and arrogant. Now it's just embarrassing. No, I don't feel sorry for the guy who manhandles his wife and the wife who cried on camera, showing bruises, requesting the locks be changed out of fear, then asking people to just calm down.

Get the fuck outta here with your sympathy, it's gross.

I feel bad for the kid, the other two I could care less about.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

gascon -- concentrate on real crime...murders, thieves, rapists, predators...come on - you are WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS. do what you are being paid to do by the taxpayers,..not anyone's or group's special interests. regarding these "higher standard" charges - your office is looking worse by the day. Get back to the real work. ENOUGH already!

Posted by marie c on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

I'm very tired of the poster "guest" who keeps talking about ross's "well-known anger management issues." ross said what he thought. big freaking deal.
sounds like your ax to grind is personal. the fix is in here. a couple have an argument, they have a baby so that is part of the fight--all my friends who've had monumental fights with their spouse say each threatens to seek custody of the kid--ross accidentally bruises eliana and now he is an abuser who should be ousted or worse? you make me sick, s.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

your outrage has been noted.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 20, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

there are no fifth in a grand jury indictment case. my husband is being charged with attempted murder and i was called to grand jury as a witness. i cant plead marital right and they granted me immunity as a way to force me to testify. so my options refuse and sit in jail for 12 months, lie and possibly get caught and face time for perjury or talk and make the D.A.s whole case for him. They have zero victim,witness or evidence therefore they are using this system to build a case which seems to be corersion (sorry spelling) to me. there is no win here for me. and They know they have litterally no usuable evidence. if i believed in the system they could know the truth he is not violent in almost 30 years he became mentally ill totally dilusional a few weeks before the incident happened but all they care about is a conviction not the person

Posted by Guest me on Jul. 27, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

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