Mayor Lee discusses removing Mirkarimi from office


Mayor Ed Lee today seemed to take a step back from his quote in today’s San Francisco Chronicle that his “gut feeling” was that Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s guilty plea to a misdemeanor false imprisonment charge represents a conflict with Mirkarimi’s official duties that could warrant his removal from office.

Speaking to reporters after an appearance before the Board of Supervisors, Lee said he hasn’t made up his mind whether to charge Mirkarimi with official misconduct – which would ultimately require at least nine of 11 supervisors to vote for removal over what was alleged to be an incident of domestic violence – but that Lee said he would probably make that decision next week.

“My gut reaction wasn’t that,” Lee said when asked about his newspaper quote, explaining that he was simply surprised when the new charge replaced the three that Mirkarimi had initially been charged with: domestic violence, dissuading a witness, and child endangerment, all misdemeanors. 

“In the surprise of the legal settlement of the case, I’m required to take a look at this charge that wasn’t talked about before and determine whether those charges and the factual allegations behind those charges are measured up to the standard I have to deal with, which is official misconduct. And I have to allow myself enough time to do that with our City Attorney’s advice to make sure I’m on good legal footing. I was just surprised because it wasn’t one of the original charges,” Lee said, noting he had been doing research on the previous charges.

“Because it’s a new charge and one that was accepted by the courts as well, I have to make a thorough study of that, which is something I wasn’t prepared to do,” he said.

When asked whether the term “false imprisonment” (a broad legal charge that can mean different things depending on the context) affects his approach, Lee responded, “The word false imprisonment is obviously connected to a sheriff who does make a determination about imprisonment in general. But we’re going through the elements of what false imprisonment are and what the factual basis is and then, again, reapplying that to the standards of official misconduct.”

As for the timeline of his decision, Lee said, “I think it’s appropriate to wait until after the sentencing,” which is set for Monday, “so probably sometime next week.” Later, he said, “I am cognizant of the public distraction this case has made to the office, so I’m doing the best I can to comply with at least my own time frame.”

We asked Lee why he thought the charges – which resulted from an incident on New Year’s Eve in which Mirkarimi’s wife allegedly told a neighbor that he grabbed her and left a bruise on her arm – might rise to the level of official misconduct, particularly considering he hadn’t been sworn into office yet.

Lee replied, “That’ll be part of the assessment because I don’t think there’s an automatic thing here. He was elected and this was post election, so it doesn’t matter when he was sworn in and I think he was expected to be sworn in, so we have to take into consideration all of those elements.”


>"particularly considering he hadn’t been sworn into office yet."

That was a mistake, right? Some intern had that in there by mistake and you forgot to take it out?

Please confirm that you don't seriously think that his behavior a few hours before being sworn in makes it any less relevant. A few hours????

Or are you thinking - hey, another technicality we can try!

Posted by Troll on Mar. 13, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

Assuming that he can get some backing from the City Attorney's office, why not force the issue on the BOS? If they remove Mirkarimi then Lee looks like a strong guy. If Campos, Avalos and Mar vote to save their friend then they are the ones who have some uncomfortable explaining to do about their friend the DV practioner.

Mirkarimi will get no sympathy in any event. Even if the BOS saved him Lee can say that he was just doing his job.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 13, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

Mirkarimi has admitted to it and apologized for it.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 13, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

Mirkarimi didn't plead guilty to domestic violence, so that is still an allegation. We'll see which of the allegations he admits are true after his plea deal is resolved on Monday.

Posted by steven on Mar. 13, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

It was the Dv incident that caused the other counts. Else they would not have happened.

Spin, spin, spin, that's all we ever get here.

Posted by Anon-y mouse on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 6:01 am

God I love hypocrites! Please keep posting Steve, you're a riot!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 9:22 am

Mirkarimi said Tuesday that the spiraling legal costs, coupled with the intense media coverage and the emotional toll the case was taking on his family, were a "considerable factor" in his decision to plead guilty to a single charge of misdemeanor false imprisonment.

Kool! He just plead guilty to "false imprisonment." If Mirkarimi were a Republican, what would you say?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 9:28 am

"It is typical of the sexist male dominated republican mindset that he treats women like property.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 9:39 am

Why would he be doing that if he had committed no domestic violence?

The fact that the DV count was dropped doesn't mean that Ross is innocent of that, and in fact we all know that he is guilty of that.

Posted by Anonymous on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

Anger management and parenting classes is what the papers say, but who here can really believe what they the Chronicle?

Posted by marcos on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

Anger management is much shorter.

Posted by Anonymous on Mar. 15, 2012 @ 5:22 am

His comments during this saga are a little silly. He keeps mentioning that he needs to look over the charge, study it, consider it, deal with it, deliberate over it, etc. You'd think he wants to create the impression that he sits in his office surrounded by law books. It's not that hard. Make a decision one way or the other.

Posted by The Commish on Mar. 13, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

People do things they regret and realize are mistakes.

As much as I loath the sleazy politics of progressives and the blow hard condescending jabberings of Mirkarimi I think this shouldn't warrant a firing. He was elected by the citizens.

I would sign a recall petition and I would vote to have him recalled, because he is a blow hard idiot.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 13, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

Given the nature of the charges, an invitation to 'Recall Mirkarimi, the guy who was involved in the domestic violence case' would be relatively easy, both in terms of getting volunteers and getting signatures.

Mirkarimi probably has the 2nd highest name recognition in the city right now, all of it negative.

But someone has to organize it.

Posted by Troll on Mar. 13, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

It was a fun soap opera, starring a Venezuealan soap opera star and a soapy politician prone to self-righteous stentorian speech-making...

...but he pleaded guilty. Let's let the man rest and deal with his personal matters, his family matters personally with his family for a while, shall we?

P.S.Steve, thanks for merely reporting the facts this time and not prosthelytizing.

Posted by Troll the 14th on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 8:45 am

Ahead we have recalls, a messy divorce, a bunch of lawsuits and, I'm sure, more ex's coming out of the woodwork, Cain-like, each with their own personalised panty collection and matching bruises.

It will be over when Ross stops lying and twisting.

Posted by Anon-y mouse on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 9:00 am

A messy divorce, to be sure.

But Matier & Ross report today that Mirkarimi broke down and cried when he talked to them on the phone yesterday.

He's been through a lot. I say leave him alone for awhile.

Posted by Troll the 14th on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 9:20 am

alone" in the same way that he didn't leave his wife alone.

Posted by Anon-y mouse on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

A wife-beater as sheriff, especially, is an especially bad idea.

Posted by Chromefields on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

In this world nothing can probably be said to make certain, except death and taxes.
Inside every working anarchy, there's an Old Boy Network.

Posted by Fabian Defranceschi on Mar. 14, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

Hello. And Bye.

Posted by XRumerTest on Jun. 06, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

Hello. And Bye.

Posted by XRumerTest on Jun. 06, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

Hello. And Bye.

Posted by XRumerTest on Jun. 06, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

Hello. And Bye.

Posted by XRumerTest on Jun. 06, 2013 @ 12:09 pm