If Mayor Lee lied


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.


There appears to have been bomb threat synchronicity during sensitive, difficult testimony by the Mayor at City Hall---an investigation by the fed and/or state should be had. There's some indicia of an inside job.

Posted by AG on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

This conspiracy stuff is great fun, but seriously unhinged.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

the thing was being televised LIVE. When Lee was getting clobbered, his puppet masters made a phone call.
You really think the only person who knows the numbers of the Lee entourage is Lee himself?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

But one of his lackeys who got carried away.

In which case, Lee did nothing wrong. Let's move on then.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 5:31 am

The allegation is that he perjured himself twice. The perjury allegation isn't that he was shuffled out due to the faux bomb threat..the perjury allegation has to do with his alleged lying under oath that he hadn't discussed the Mirkarimi matter with any supervisors.
the bomb threat is a different, but related issue. Move on if you wish.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 6:59 am

Looking forward to seeing him sweep the streets.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

perp can choose what he does and when he does it, as long as it's "approved" and the right number of hours are done in the right number of days.

So he is probably going through an organisation, and getting "easy time".

Those guys on the street in orange jackets are inmates working offf their time as part of the sheriff's work detail. Yes, Ross would be running his own community service, as well as his own (false) prisons and his own probation!

And people ask why he shouldn't keep his job!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

cohort invented talking out of their own asses as some kind of sport. A-1, way to go, Guest!

Mirkarimi can't serve because he'd no doubt scam his way into "light service" -- just like anybody else with any brains. No, Mirkarimi will not be causing you some great delight by cleaning public bathrooms. Neither would you if sentenced similarly. Maybe.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

At least you're honest about one thing.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 5:30 am

what happened on NYE. It depends only on whether a man who admits being criminally violent to his wife should be sheriff.

A court has already decided the extent of Ross's criminal activity, so Lee has no need to hear Ross's account of what happened. We all already know because Ross has admitted it, and because we've seen the video and heard the testimony.

So it really doesn't matter who Lee talked to or didn't talk to. Nothing Ross could say coul alter the truth we already know. It only matters that he understood that the crimes invalidate Ross from the office.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 07, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

in which he alleges all sorts of things as the basis for the charges. The proceedings so far have gutted many of those things and are about to gut a whole lot more.

You see, when you make it up hoping your target will fold, and he doesn't, you have to prove up your allegations, at least by a preponderance of the evidence.

The mayor and his lawyers are so far not making their case.

There are plenty of things that matter, not just an arm grab.

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

If attacking your wife and then trying to hush up your neighbor is sufficient to lose a job as sheriff, the rest really doesn't matter.

And if the Supes won't support the Mayor when 76% of the people do, then the people will remove Ross from office.

Almost every pol who gets caught in a scandal like this does the decent thing and resign. This hearing is only necessary because of Ross's arrogance and stubborness - the same traits that caused him to absue his wife.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 5:28 am

crime(s) = crime; and an overwrought crime at that
attacking wife = momentary arm grab
hush up neighbor = pure unadulterated crap right winger lying filth talk, mayor spew.
76% of the people = an unknown percentage (i.e. as I've repeatedly shown: NO SUCH POLL has been proven to EXIST let alone been shown to not be ANOTHER push poll)

Let me guess. You are just one troll posting repeatedly the same nonsense.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 6:03 am

witness tampering, as you well know. The fact that a deal made 3 of those counts go away doesn't mean Ross wasn't guilty. In fact all the evidence points to Ross being guilty on all counts, which of course is why he copped a deal.

Three quarters of SF'ers think that a perp who admits false imprisonment should not be running the prisons. Ross should resign rather that put the city through this expense and stress. Ross is a busted flush who will never be able to command respect from the sworn officers, even if miraculously he gets reinstated against the will of the people.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 8:58 am

he was not guilty.

Your repugnant attempt at negating the quintessentially American value (though predating this nation by hundreds of years in English Common Law) of "innocent until proven guilty" fills me with revulsion and disgust.

How absolutely vile the mendacity of what is probably a single troll who continues to try to spread falsehood and get in the last word. Troll, you disgust me!

It becomes so obvious that attempts at manipulating public opinion with false talk and fabricated polling date will backfire. Un-American scum!

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 9:12 am

The counts relate to false imprisonment which he pled to, DV which we see happened from the video, and witness tampering which is really not in doubt given that people spoke to Madison to "invite" her to keep her mouth shut.

We all know that when a perp pleads out, some counts get dropped in return. Nobody believes that means he's innocent and in fact Ross would NEVER have copped to one count unless he was worried about being found guility on all counts

And he was worried about that because he knew he was guilty.

People aren't stupid and they know all this, except of course the Ross and DV apologists

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 9:47 am

If this is DV, then you're going to need to build jail after jail after jail because you're going to be locking up half of the population at one time in their lives.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 10:05 am

False imprisonment alone does not necessitate 52 weeks DV counseling and yet Ross is attending that by order of the court.

The bruise kinda gives it away too.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 10:49 am

If you are an example of half the population, then I would opt for summary execution.

But, in any event, I just do not get the blind loyalty to Ross Mirkarimi. At best, he did not act honorably under any circumstances, at worst he is an abusive spouse. Can you not find a better role model?

And, yes, I agree if Ed Lee committed a crime, he should be prosecuted accordingly. But, whatever Ed Lee did or did not do, does not negate Ross Mirkarimi's actions.

It just seems that every time I read any article about him, I find your shrill, conspiracy theorist comments. So, much anger and hate, and you do not even know who you are angry at, which is the saddest part.

You really need to get outside, inhale some fresh air, and live life a little. Your obsession with this issue is causing serious deterioration to your mental health and making you a sour sad sack individual.

Posted by Chris on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

(and that promulgated by highly ironic sources such as Fox News) that we hire our representatives to be "role models."

I think most Americans still don't expect perfection from our politicians, What we want and don't get from most of them -- Ross Mirkarimi being one notable example -- is utter and complete integrity in their conduct of civic affairs.

Screw you with your bogus air of moral rectitude. It is a smoke screen talking point for the corporate right.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

rather that any weaknesses or transgressions they commit not be related to or represent a conflict of interest with their official role.

The problem in Ross's case is that the sin is too close to him. False imprisonment might not matter if his job wasn't running the prisons.

Being on probation might not matter if the sheriff wasn't involved in the probation service.

If Ross was in charge of, say, the parks or the libraries, I could see giving him a pass. But law enforcement, where he is managing the very people who booked him at 850? No way.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

that should preclude Ross Mirkarimi from service as sheriff. Yawn.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

imprisonment running our prisons? Really?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

that he will take any prisoners to lunch and then on the way there, turn around the car and take them back to jail to eat inmate food.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

My previous comment stands.

I'm glad at least you refrained from mentioning the discredited and ficticious poll again. People are far less stupid than you yourself believe and your continued failure to provide any back-up for the tale besides lamely continuing to insist it has been "widely reported" (actually only by gossip columnists and internet trolls) is just going to make them be more suspicious of the rest. Kind of like Lee's suspicious testimony.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 10:09 am

plead to one of them to make the others do away. If they were bogus, he's have fought not admitted.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 10:50 am

Other than the fact that you and your tiny group of friends feel the same way? Are all the polls biased or only those with which you disagree? Provide proof that most San Franciscans sympathize with Ross Mirkarimi - cite a poll showing even a bare majority support for Ross Mirkarimi. Adhere to Chairman Mao's wise words when he said "Speak clearly and lay out the facts!"

Chairman Mao also said "The eyes of the masses are bright and clear as snow." So far Mirkarimi appears to be tainted in the view of the masses - unless you can prove differently without citing the way you and the cheesemonger at Rainbow Grocery feel.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

Rainbow reveals that 51% of them support Ross.

Something you can take to the bank.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

are not equally guilty of DV. If there was no political will to prosecute them then the bar for these crimes is very high placing Mirkarimi's alleged crime as a mere infraction.

Crawl back into your hole, troll.

Posted by MistOfTheCity on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

but there is NO evidence that Ross Mirkarimi tried to "hush up" his neighbor.In fact, whent asked to do so by his wife, he replied, "I cannot".

keep citing the 76% if you must. I think it's time for some real polling,actually.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 9:46 am

and when asked by Lopez if he could do anything to quiet the investigation, it probably took less than a hearbeat's worth of time for him to realize he could do no such thing: the police had been called.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 10:25 am

He's just about smart enough to know not to do it himself, so he got his "manager" to do the dirty work and try and hush Madison.

That's been SOP since Nxon.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 10:47 am

can you prove it? can the city attorney? not so far.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

Madison revealed that it was suggested that she take the matter no further. We know that too.

Why would he have contacted someone with no political position other than to try and get his troubled client off the hook? We already know that as well.

Witness tampering, second hand.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

man. Pay attention.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

Jason Grant Garza ... Yes, Ross plead and is paying the PRICE ... I still await the HUMANITY, DAMAGES, CIVILITY, CONTRITION, JUSTICE and the list goes on after the city SIGNED a "CONFESSION/SETTLEMENT" Agreement with the Office of Inspector General in 2007 admitting fault and guilt for having BROKEN FEDERAL LAW in case C02-3485PJH (2003) where the city TESTILIES to have my case dismissed and LEAVING its INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD ... was I NOT BRUISED, HARMED, DAMAGED? What about the FALSE and INJURIOUS 5150 by the city attorney during the deposition for the above mentioned case (C02-3486PJH)?

So where is this NOT DOUBLE JEOPARDY (Ross) where I sit with an SIGNED CONFESSION and an arrest record (never having been arrested) for a CRIME that the city committed and ADMITTED to ... and I was NOT DAMAGED ???? The real question is how many times was I damaged and why is it continuing ... was I only damaged when I was denied EMERGENCY services, was I damaged when they TESTILIED in FEDERAL COURT, was I damaged during the false 5150 or am I still being damaged ??? What about the failure of the Nurse Ratch case to ETHICS from the MINISTRY? What about the changing of the "STANDARDS" at ETHICS since "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT" charges by the Mayor? What about going back and seeking services and it starting all over again and what this farce process reveals? WHAT DO YOU THINK?

As always the CITY LEADS by example ... WHAT A FARCE.

Oh, and the confession/settlement agreement was not because of the KINDNESS of the city attorney after the scorched earth and take no prisoners tactic in 2003 ... it was ME continuing against ALL ODDS.

Where's the character, morality, humanity, contrition .... fortunately, I am DEAD since that's how I was left ...

Don't believe me ... go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see the paperwork on THEIR OWN letterhead.

I still await payment from the city as opposed to the city extracting it's POUND of FLESH from ROSS but that would REQUIRE ETHICS.

So what was that part where the city attorney stated I believe that Ross had joked about domestic violence in a speech then played it and it was NOT there ... YET, we can not and will not QUESTION the MAYOR over what he said and meant? Where's the DUE PROCESS ...

Oh and If I have stated anything INCORRECTLY ... I would have been arrested by now ... unlike the other side ... remember I called to get the them arrested when I was denied ... where are they NOW? I have the audio tape and I believe the operator told me 4xs that the institutional police were the SFPD who I was calling for ... then I was arrested, strip searched, cavity searched, etc for a CRIME they COMMITTED. Go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com for the "Confession/Settlement" Agreement.

Yes, the WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT ... ha,ha,ha.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 5:28 am

and you know it, troll.

Posted by MistOfTheCity on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

"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."

I'd still like to learn more about this. What law is the City Attorney invoking to bully supervisors into not talking about this case? I admit it's moot, since our supervisors are so lame they're easily intimidated by authority figures, but still some more information on that would be helpful.

Posted by Rob Anderson on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

This is not a trial. It's a hearing. different rules apply and, in the end, it's a vote not a verdict.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

but more importantly whether he committed perjury when asked about it. Perjury and the analysis of credibility go hand in hand.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

getting your favorite progressive politican off the hook for his spousal abuse, and wish to deflect the debate.

I don't really care who Lee did or did talk to - the issue is very simple. Should a violent criminal be running the prisons? Yes or no?

And I can guarantee you that the voters care far more about that than they do about so obscure procerdural aspect of the ethics commission. Nobody cares about that.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

important if you think the mayor shouldn't be allocating public safety assets towards achieving a purely political goal.

Describing Mirkarimi's self-admitted misbehavior -- for instance, turning his van around when they had been on their way to lunch and later grabbing his wifes arm -- as "violent criminal" behavior is disgusting and does great injustice to victims of such activity. But the sluts of power don't care about right or wrong, do they?

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

Running the jails, managing security at the courts and doing evictions isn't really a political job and previous sheriffs have found themselves limited in how far they can vary from the laws which they have no control over making.

It's a procedural job, not a policy-making job and, as such, it would probably be better if the sheriff were appointed in the way that most cities do and in the same way we appoint a police chief.

And there is no question that were Ross an appointed sheriff who committed these crimes or acted violently, then he would be fired. The fact that he was elected doesn't really change that standard of suitability, and it appears Ross no longer has a mandate to hold that office, nor the respect of the department.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 7:05 am

check what that means re: intent.
misdemeanor false imprisonment ..no intent to do harm
not a crime of moral turpitude
unlike felony perjury.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 8:47 am

In fact, you can't get a conviction if you can't prove criminal intent.

A DV crime can be prosecuted either as a felony or as a misdemeanor. It generally depends on both intent and degree.

If Eliana has fell while Ross was assaulting her and broken bones, no doubt if would have been felony counts. Ross was just lucky she wasn't more badly hurt, and that was luck as much as anything.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 11:12 am

negligent homicide, and many, many more. Did you go to the New College of Law with Ivory Madison?
Think for a moment, if you grab your spouse's arm to keep them from arguing in front of a distressed child, does that mean you have an
intent" to harm the spouse?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

I own it now.

By the way -- just to be clear -- sluts of power (C) is completely unrelated to fun-loving sluts of both genders who only seek to have fun for themselves, and not act in craven service to those who already have amassed far too much power.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 08, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

You may think that no one cares about felony perjury...ie:lying under oath, but you'd be wrong.
Once again..who Lee talked to and what they talked about isn't the issue...it's lying about it...under oath.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 6:54 am

What I said is that a sheriff abusing his wife is something that everyone understands and can get agitated about.

A city suit maybe lying to another city suit doesn't evoke the same sense of outrage.

And of course in this case, the two city suits who are alleged to have had a conversation both state it never happened, and only someone who was not there is claiming any perjury. It's a hearsay case that would never be prosecuted, let alone tried or convicted.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 7:08 am

shep Kopp puts them all under oath in this proceeding, on the record. Then see if you think felony perjury wouldn't be prosecuted.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 8:48 am