If Mayor Lee lied

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What’s going to happen to Mayor Ed Lee?

That’s the big question after a series of news reports have suggested that the mayor was less-than truthful under oath in his statements to the Ethics Commission. If he actually lied on the stand, that would be considered perjury, which is a felony.

But the reality is that the mayor’s not going to jail. First of all the District Attorney’s Office would have to investigate and file charges -- and does anyone really think this DA, George Gascon, is going to subpoena Walter Wong and demand that he talk under oath about his interactions with Lee (who is a close friend)? I think Gascon ought to do it; there’s clear evidence that a crime may have been committed, and the public has a right to know about it, but I suspect that will never happen.
And even if the DA pushed, and Wong told the truth, and the truth contradicted the mayor, would a jury believe Wong over Lee?

It’s really hard to prove perjury. Maybe one of Lee’s staffers talked to Wong and the mayor wasn’t directly involved. Maybe the recollections of the two men have faded in the past few months. Maybe the mayor’s defense would be able to throw up enough chaff that nobody in the courtroom could figure it out.

So it’s not going to be about a criminal case against the mayor. But the revelations of what’s gone down here go far beyond any possible perjury indictment.

For starters, Ross Mirkarimi’s lawyers have every right and responsibility to demand that the Ethics Commission members hear from Debra Walker, Walter Wong, and -- I would argue -- every member of the Board of Supervisors. Here’s why:

The crux of Mirkarimi’s legal case at Ethics is that the mayor had no grounds to remove him from office -- and that Lee never gave Mirkarimi due process or a chance to explain himself. The way the suspended sheriff tells it, the mayor never asked for an explanation of what happened that New Year’s Eve, never tried to talk to Eliana Lopez -- never, in short, did any investigation into the incident before deciding the file misconduct charges (except for talking to Ivory Madison).

The way the mayor tells it, Mirkarimi refused to provide an explanation.

That distinction is critical, and the only basis for deciding what happened is for the judges -- the commissioners -- to use their best information and judgment about who’s telling the truth.

In other words, the mayor’s credibility is central to the entire case.

So if there’s any evidence that Lee lied about his discussions with Walter Wong or about whether he talked to any supervisors, then the commissioners would have the responsibility to consider that when evaluating the rest of his testimony. If you can’t believe everything he said, can you believe anything he said?

Some commissioners may argue that it’s not their business to determine if the mayor perjured himself, and on one level, that’s true -- Ed Lee isn’t on trial here. But his credibility either makes or breaks the case. So the panel needs to hear from witnesses who can address that question.

Then there’s the much larger, more disturbing possibility that the mayor sought to influence (or might have been in a position to influence) members of the Board of Supervisors, who will be sitting as the final judges of Mirkarimi’s fate.

There’s a reason that the City Attorney’s Office has advised board members not to talk about the case. They’re sitting in a judicial role, and they can’t legally fulfill that obligation if there’s any indication they’ve already made up their minds. And if the mayor has talked to any of them -- and there’s any indication at all that anything he said could be seen as seeking to influence their votes -- well, in a courtroom you’d call that jury tampering. It’s a little different in a political forum, but still: Any supervisor who had a conversation with the mayor will be under pressure to recuse himself or herself -- and every recusal helps Mirkarimi.

It doesn’t matter how many supervisors are in the room, in the country, recused or otherwise unable to vote -- the mayor still needs nine to remove the sheriff. Three recusals and the whole thing collapses.

That’s why all of this is so fascinating and potentially explosive.

Oh,and by the way: When Lee set this process in motion, he should have known that he'd be testifying under oath and that anything he said or did might come out. You'd think he'd have been a little better prepared. 

So what's going to happen to Ed Lee? Legally, nothing. But he may have done serious damage to his own case.

Comments

they are much more likely to be accurate. Two polls on the same subject at different tiems show consistent results AND mesh with my own informal polling of SF'ers.

I think it would help you if you accepted that most SF'ers want Ross gone, even if personally you want him to stay. The issue is whether the Supes feel the way that the people do. We'll see.

But Ross is through either way. He's toxic.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

Saw Ross on Sunday Streets the previous weekend, the populace seemed nonplussed, none of them were massing with pitchforks and torches.

Ed Lie's perjury, on the other hand, was the topic on everyone's lips.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

outside of the usual left-wing suspects. I asked a couple of guys at work today and they knew nothing about it.

Ross, on the other hand, EVERYONE knows.

I guess not many people read the SFBG because if that was all you read, you'd think this was a big story. It's not, mostly because all witnesses to the alleged event deny it ever happened. All there is here is hearsay, and the DA can't act on that.

Posted by Anonymous on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

I would estimate that 12 people, worldwide, read the SFBG political section. 8 of them read it for its amusement value (similar to Colbert or the Onion). Probably 3 people take it seriously. And then there is @lilli.

Don't believe me? Numbers seem low? Take a look:

http://www.sfbg.com/2010/10/05/endorsements-2010

Posted by Troll on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 5:34 pm
Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

Wrong. Moderates Matier and Ross wrote about Lee's perjury, claiming that it could prove pivotal in the case against Ross.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Perjury-accusation-aga...

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

covered Aaron Peskin's statement with regard to negotiations which transpired between Mirkarimi and the mayor's office.

(Not sure if you meant that in response to my comment on this topic, but it doesn't seem to be in the right place for that.)

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

to the first poll -- which was a push poll -- verily proves that it is bogus.

The first poll was conducted when Ross had not had a chance to tell his side of the story. If the subsequent revelations about the story which reflect quite poorly on Madison and Lee didn't have any affect on the numbers that *strongly* suggests it is bullshit.

And nobody has yet proven the existence of the poll. Some PR outfit said it exists and a bunch of internet trolls and gossip columnists have echoed the story.

Bullshit.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

and felony perjury to lie about it under oath...twice.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ... Marcos, what penalty - if NO Investigation , No DA Charges ... for this too will pass at the NEXT IMMEDIATE CRISIS ...

Let me give you an example: For months NOW I have been commenting on the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE, the failed ETHICS "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT" handling when it gets an ORDER of DETERMINATION with facts and findings that "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT" violation per city charter has been found - yet ETHICS drops and is NOW changing the RULES and STANDARDS to get ROSS (how ethical is that?) while NOT applying the same (apparently now corrected - what does that mean about the past) "RULES and STANDARDS" by re-opening the prior cases where it FAILED as referred by the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE? Look at my Nurse Ratch case that was sent to them ...

Regardless, I am sure that it will be represented as "What we would expect form OUR officials" as far as CONDUCT that DOES NOT fall below the STANDARD of DECENCY, good faith and right action impliedly required of ALL PUBLIC OFFICERS.

However, if it is NOT ... then WHAT ??? (Follow and connect the dots ... )

What happened to the INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM in case C02-3485PJH where the city Testlyied to have the (my) case dismissed in 2003 ONLY to sign a "CONFESSION/SETTLEMENT" agreement in 2007 with the Office of Inspector General admitting fault and guilt for BREAKING FEDERAL LAW. Was the INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM LEFT for DEAD .... go to http://www.myownprivatreguantanamo.com .... there you will see the paperwork.

I still await JUSTICE, ETHICS, GOOD CONDUCT ....

Nurse Ratch ( Sent up by the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE - shot down by ETHICS ) am sure retired to live the GOOD LIFE ... I was only LEFT as the LIVING DEAD, DEAD RIGHT and LEFT for DEAD but I'm sure the quick mental math (calculation) of scorched earth and take no prisoners WAS NEVER CONSIDERED and NATURALLY if proven INCORRECT ... CONTRITION and DAMAGES would be forthcoming .... ha,ha,ha.

So let me see ... the city attorney can say (during Ross' examination) that a tape says such (False claim that Ross said something about domestic violence in a speech then play it (tape) and it is NO WHERE) and we CAN NOT , WILL NOT hold the MAYOR accountable for WHAT he REALLY said and meant on the stand ... HOW CONVENIENT ... while claiming DUE PROCESS ???

Maybe we should ask the question in my case # 11081 where the city's EXPERT represented (a requirement under HIPAA) (listen to the tape Nov 2011 - Sunshine) and now has CONCEDED ... what is the penalty? The MINISTRY won't even GRANT me due process and can't find a HIPAA expert ... how many months NOW?

So a “POUND of FLESH” from ROSS but NO DECENCY, GOOD FAITH and RIGHT ACTION for me ??? Go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com ... there you will see the signed confession/settlement agreement and ....

Again, what is the PENALTY of PERJURY ... I can show you the PENALTY of telling the TRUTH to YOUR OFFICIALS.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 7:40 am

What Lee did or did not do isn't the issue. Same with Ivory Madison. It's Mirkarimi, Mirkarimi, Mirkarimi.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 9:07 am

that's the kind of person you want running a law enforcement department of the city.

With 3/4 of voters deeming Ross unsuitable, the only problem appears to be that the BofS have to vote about 80% for that decision to be sustained. Strange burden of proof but there you go.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 9:43 am

is based on a fairy-tale poll which has only been alleged by trolls and gossip columnists. Nobody can prove it exists because it is "secret."

There has never been such a poll, but you are claiming the supervisors should act on it as though it were an honestly run election.

Let me guess: you also support paperless voting machines?

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 10:19 am

And if it had said 76% supported Ross, you'd have no problem with it.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 10:51 am

This is what such proof (which you CANNOT produce) might look like:

h t t p : // field. com/ fieldpollonline /subscribers /Rls2417. pdf

... not regurgitated troll spew or gossip columnist rubbish.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 11:23 am

not be making 100 posts a week here trying just a little too hard to discredit something that you simultaneously claim doesn't exist.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

and when it is proven to be true.

Continued constant references to the "secret" poll without providing verifiable justification for such claims will be met by incredulity. You wouldn't be flogging such a bogus poll so hard if an honest one existed demonstrating what you claim.

Almost certainly, the poll you cite -- a product of an outfit which is more a public relations firm than a polling outfit -- was a push poll designed to affect public opinion; just like the only verifiable poll which has been reported on and which was conducted immediately before Ross had a chance to get his side of the story across.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

(I know -- just in a round-a-bout deniable manner; but still, it is a start.)

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

I do rather enjoy having a dancing bear here though.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

It's all about Ross' fitness to serve as you say. Forget about apparent perjury and malfeasance by the city's top elected official for whom no ethics law applies, we must get Ross! He's a wife-arm-grabber! And a progressive!

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 06, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

If some other politicians has also done something bad, then there are processes for dealing with that.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 10:07 am

You need to do the math.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 06, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

is just an arm grab.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

is just a systemic pattern of abuse and mistreatment.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

Lee said Mirkarimi beat his wife. Wrong, he grabbed her arm. Lee is liar.

Lee is punishing Mirkarimi by withholding his pay. Lee is mean.

Lee attempts to oust Mirkarimi before having the facts. Lee is rash.

Lee is a rash mean liar. We should oust Lee!

Posted by Rod on Jul. 06, 2012 @ 8:02 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 06, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

If we oust Lee, that means we need to elect a new mayor. Who better than a repentent, humble public servant like Ross Mirkarimi?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 1:10 pm
Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

That would be restorative justice if there ever was any.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

That weird old Green Party woman might come 16th

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 3:55 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

She lost be a country mile. You dispute that?

Ross could beat her in an election. Even with his perp history.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

I didn't say there was clear evidence of a crime. I said there was clear evidence that a crime MAY have been committed. That's ground for an investigation.

Peskin and Walker have made specific allegations, and Peskin named Walter Wong and told us the exact date, time and place they met. That's more than enough to meet the standard for a criminal investigation in a lot of other cases. The police got a search warrant for Ivory Madison's tape on nothing more than hearsay; asking Wong for a statement under oath is essentially the same thing. If there's no further credible evidence, then that's as far as it goes.

 

Posted by tim on Jul. 06, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

We need their cell phone records as well as the cell phone records of their underlings.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 06, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

we'll ever see those records.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

"What’s going to happen to Mayor Ed Lee?"

Nothing.

That's the way things go for people like him in the cesspool called politics.

He's above reproach, you know, or thinks he is.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 06, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

The more people see of Ed Lee, the more they're repulsed at his arrogance because he is just a puppet.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 06, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

The reality is that the moderate majority love Lee and the extremists hate that.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 10:08 am

My understanding is that his approval ratings have been measured as high as 104%.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 10:14 am
Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 11:08 am

That perjury was committed. The only "evidence" are two hearsay statements from two people very much in support of Ross and allied against the mayor. Peskin's statement is hardly even hearsay. Wong allegedly never confirmed directly that Lee made the job offer refernence

Posted by D.native on Jul. 06, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

Of course it isn't clear evidence of anything. To Tim the fact that Aaron Peskin says that something happened is 'clear evidence'.

Any true journalist would call that an allegation or an accusation, and not 'clear evidence' just because one person says that he has second hand knowledge that something happened.

Any true journalist would note that Peskin has a history of attacking Lee.

My real problem is that people looking for information on this will google it and be sent to the SFBG site, not knowing its real nature. It is really unconscionable that the Examiner allows Redmond's stuff to be presented as real journalism as opposed to clearly marking it as Opinion.

Shame on them.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 06, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

wants to put the whole bunch under oath?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

These headlines alone can sink Lee if they get out far enough.

Whether he did or didn't do any of it, Americans read headlines like truths. The Bush Admin made good use of that sad fact over and over to create fiction after fiction. But in this case, Peskin and Walker are obviously sincere and so thanks to the SFBG, Anne Garrison, KPFA, Fog City Journal, and all the other local media covering the actual story, not gaming it all.

It's entertaining to read this from across the Bay, like a novel where you never know what nutty stuff is next. Unreal. But the reality is that Ross and his family's life has been impacted deeply and that's a tragedy, not just the injustice of the broken system. Thank god he never gave up.

Regardless of Lee's legal consequences, no one is going to put him in charge again after this. That would seem to be over for him. But that's a small price to pay compared to losing your family and having them used this way, not knowing whether they are gone for good. Glad to see so many come together for Ross and Elaina and Theo.

Posted by Victronix on Jul. 06, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

Peskin and Walker are Ross supporters and so constntly looking for angles that might take the heat off Ross. But 76% of SF voters want Ross gone and Lee's approval ratings are up there too.

You're laments and bleats don't change the fact that the views you expressed are those of a tiny, extreme minority, as of course are SFBG readers and even some of those want Ross gone, as Ross has hurt progressives through his abuse and violence.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 10:11 am

simply cite some poll which was a push poll conducted before Ross had a chance to tell his side of the story, and don't cite reports of some poll which has never been released -- not even the margin of error.

You will not cite such information because it is not available, and if you ask me I'd say probably doesn't exist.

Face it. The wheels *have* fallen off the get Mirkarimi wagon. Lee and his backers are in hot water now.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 11:05 am

Among people I know, almost everyone wants Ross gone.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

as *you* know -- or you would have provided a link for it.

This is the kind of link I'm talking about -- just in case you might opt to pretend ignorance:

http://www.field.com/fieldpollonline/subscribers/Rls2416.pdf

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

It's been so widely reported, cited and discussed that it's not worthy of a response. But the results were

Ross should go - 76%
Ross should stay - 14%
Don't know/don't care - 10%

So less than one in seven want Ross to stay; over three in four want him gone.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

qualify as "widely reported."

A link proving that Barack Obama is president of the United States:

(spam filter won't let me post it contiguously)

http: //www. whitehouse.gov/

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 3:25 pm