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

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 11:07 am

I don't know about the rest of you but 'Wipeout' has been really lame this summer and I could use some good slapstick humor.

I really want to hear why Ed Lee decided to arm a professional trouble maker with material that could get Lee in big trouble.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 11:27 am

don't think Lee is at all worried. He could crush Peskin like a bug if he wanted to.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 11:41 am

the Ethics Commission is holding hearings, not a trial. I agree with Tim that Gascon is likely to pretend he can cover up the tootsie roll in the catbox, without it still smelling. We shall see what we shall see!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ... maybe the MAYOR should speak with Barry Bonds over his situation regarding PERJURY. Are the "OFFICIALS" going to be sooo diligent as they were with Barry? Are they also going to INVESTIGATE the BOMB SCARE with the same diligence? I know they prepared their case against (Ross) with such DUE DILIGENCE (investigated before charging, ha,ha,ha), provided SOUND LEGAL FOOTING (prior cases) and provide the same STANDARD?

Yes, Virginia ... in a PERFECT world ... where JUSTICE, HONOR and TRUTH apply, however, that is NOT here. Don't believe me ... go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see HOW the GAME is PLAYED.

There you will find a signed "Confession/Settlement Agreement" signed by the city dated 2007 for BREAKING FEDERAL LAW against me then leaving their INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD. This was after TESTILYING in 2003 to have my case thrown out (C02-3485PJH) and applying scorched earth tactics and taking no prisoners (same as they are doing with ROSS.)

This confession was not out of the "KINDNESS" of the city attorney who left me for DEAD rather my continuing against ALL ODDS. I did not have an attorney like ROSS however, the difference will be the LARGE $$$$ CASH settlement that the city will offer ROSS naturally with the escape clause of admitting NOTHING ....

Yes JUSTICE for the RICH and JUST THIS for US. Go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com

Prediction:

Preliminary perfunctory investigations, no appeals, case closed.
Settle with ROSS no admission. Go after MAYOR (not) no reason ...
the case was settled no admission.

Investigate the BOMB SCARE ... repeat above.

Shall we wait to see if the same zeal and vigor at arriving at the TRUTH will be used against the MAYOR and the BOMB SCARE. I can show the approach USED after signing a "CONFESSION" admitting BREAKING the LAW and leaving its INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD ... ha,ha,ha.

"Telling the TRUTH during times of UNIVERSAL DECEIT is a REVOLUTIONARY Act." George Orwell

So has all the COMMOTION, FALSE CONCERN, and DIRE CONSEQUENCE now ended over the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE (not working, providing harm, damages and delay ... see case # 11081 (How long does it take to get a HIPAA expert?) ... what about the "RULES and STANDARDS" changes at ETHICS to EXTRACT a POUND of FLESH from ROSS ...yes, another CRISIS and the MAYOR problems will too pass ....

Ha,ha,ha.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 5:50 am

Your insane comments here are not germane to this issue. Take up your issue somewhere else.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ... to Guest ... Sorry, I'm NOT going away just as ROSS is NOT GOING AWAY. As far as germane, I disagree. This is the PERFECT place for these issues ... as a matter of fact many have expressed their interest by going to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see the city's paperwork on the website ... the sign confession and the left for DEAD.

There they have seen the ETHICS paperwork, Federal Court paperwork, the "Confession/Settlement" Agreement signed by the city with the OFFICE of INSPECTOR GENERAL. There they have the paperwork to the Sheriff's office, the Human Rights Commission paperwork ... the list goes on.

I do however thank you Guest for all your compassion and humanity as is revealed and relevant.

So what part is NOT germane ... the NURSE RATCH case to ETHICS? The city attorney's attempts at WINNING at all costs? The time between having my case (C02-3485PJH) thrown out with TESTILYING (2003) until they signed the "CONFESSION" in 2007? The lack of ETHICS, MORALITY or HUMANITY? Maybe the scorched earth and take NO prisoners tactics used by the city? Quite germane indeed.

Or could it be that unlike most I have the paperwork and that would BURST your BUBBLE?

Germane ... it is QUITE INDEED.

"Telling the TRUTH during times of UNIVERSAL DECEIT is a REVOLUTIONARY Act." George Orwell

So in response ... I am NOT going away .... however you are as I am sure able to "Turn the channel" if the INCONVENIENT TRUTH" bothers you.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

testing

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 11:09 am

The possibility should be thoroughly investigated, including sworn testimony. It has the smell of typically odious and corrupted SF political machinations.
http://www.fogcityjournal.com/news_in_brief/kirshenbaun_061029.shtml
http://www.citireport.com/?s=inside-willie-brown

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 11:14 am

in the way that Ross's antics did, and I doubt there will be much if any public pressure to investigate, let alone, prosecute, a city official for failing to remember a discussion he/she had months ago.

And that assumes of course, that such a discussion happened. The only people there at the time both say it never happened.

This is another case of SFBG pushing on a piece of string in the hope that it will spark an outrage. But nobody cares.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 11:24 am

Did you get all worked up when Bill Clinton committed perjury during the Monica Lewinisky Scandal?

Seriously, this is all coming down to perspective. Did Lee committ perjury. I doubt it. So far the only word we have is that of two people very much anti Lee and Pro Ross. Not helping the case.

If Lee did commit perjury, I am really disappointed in him and I hope there is a prosecution. Public Officials need integrity and should not committ either domestic violence or lie under oath.

Posted by D.native on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

under the carpet now want full investigations and prosecutions because it's Lee.

If anyone wanted further evidence of how political bias makes you blind and hypocritical, look no further.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

the plea was to a misdemeanor with no evidence of intent to harm. Mirkarimi took the plea. He has said umpteen times that he regrets grabbing his wife's arm in the middle of an argument about the wife's travel plans for the boy. If the case had been on solid ground, the DA would have proceeded. He didn't. Ivory Madison's steaming piles of hearsay, and activity promoting the scandal well before ever calling the police, was an insurmountable problem for the prosecution. Have you read Christina Flores" lengthy testimony in the criminal trial? If that isn't a fatal attraction type fixation,I don't know what is. What a mess.

Felony perjury by the mayor of a city is a serious allegation, whether the mayor is progressive,conservative, or just a puppet.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

It clearly intend harm, as does grabbing someone so hard they bruise. Ross pled guilty because he knew at trial he'd get four convictions, and he's doing the same sentence as a DV perp, inlcuidng the DV training.

Belittling that belittles women everywhere.

There is zero evidence of perjury at this point by Lee, whereas Ross admits being a violent criminal. Big difference.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

is not harmful, intended or otherwise.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

Uh, that's disengenuous. No one WANTED to brush it under the rug. The question is if it rose to the standard of that it did COMPARED to two very finite and factual examples:

1) Mayor Newsom's tryst with his secretary IN HIS OFFICE who was his good friend's wife PLUS ADMITTED he was an ALCOHOLIC to hide his DRUG ADDICTION.
a. Do you feel that an adulterer and alcohol/substance abuser is fit to be Mayor and running the city?

2) The reported 911 CALL of the SF Fire Dept Chief's HUSBAND who physically abused him by cracking a glass beer stein over his head twice and their kids scared out of their wits. This IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE plus constitutes ENDANGERMENT TO CHILDREN of which Child Protective Services WOULD intervene.
a. Do you feel that a batterer and alcohol abuser is fit to running a very high responsibility department?

Now, in the Mirkarimi case, yes, grabbing anyone for the purposes of intimidation or control is innacceptable, his action fall way, way below the standard that the DA and City Attorney have set in not bringing charges against these two other very high profile and paid public officials whether elected or not insomuch that CPS DID NOT FIND ANY child endangerment with regards to the lack of severity of this incident.

If CPS doesn't think the incident in front of a child warrants an merit to take notice compared to the situation with the Fire Chief which is blatantly severe then there is no cause here to find any violation or actions not incumbent upon an elected official.

You can't have it both ways. So, as I started out, let's not be disengenuous even if you are a troll.

Posted by MistOfTheCity on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

You nailed it.

From Merriam Webster:

disingenuous: lacking in candor; also : giving a false appearance of simple frankness : calculating

That really *is* the word. These trogs bad-rapping Mirkarimi all along have been disingenuous. Piously pontificating about morality and circumspection of which they exhibit *none*. None!

Disingenuous, disengenuous. However you spell it, you are damn right!

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

If we are to determine impartiality as to whom are the judges here, then all the Supervisors must be recused because they are really a jury and *not* judges.

Everyone's got the roles WRONG!

There is not supposed to be all-out prosecutorial theater here. Either the City Attorney or John St. Croix has bamboozled the Ethics Commission into that notion. There was just a recent official misconduct case against some official on the Library Commission and none of this was in operation.

The Charter does NOT afford the Mayor any representation other than the Ethics Commission to carry out the investigation and due process of the official misconduct administrative hearing. It's in 8th grade English. Read the Charter.

The City Attorney has overstepped his bounds in joining with the DA in further prosecuting the accused.

This process should be absolutely speedy and not drawn out. This Sheriff guy should not have been suspended without pay for this long. Okay, 30 days but now three months? The hearing just started. He should have been paid during the time the Ethics Commission was trying to figure out what to do. They had no process and that is no fault of the accused.

If he is exonerated from this process, Mayor Lee will have to answer to the voters and taxpayers when the Sheriff sues the hell out of the deep pockets of the City. And, I would agree to have my taxes go to the harm the DA, Mayor, CA, Ivory Madison and Phil Bronstein have caused this person. It doesn't matter now what he did or didn't do.

-->> What is the MOST SUSPECT that no one has investigated fully are the many calls between Madison and Bronstein before the SFPD showed up. Someone should subpoena all their phone call, etxt and email records then question their physical whereabouts in those days leading up to the arrest. Bronstein and Madison both are known quantities separately and together. They both know how to sensationalize things and how to get 15 minutes of fame.

I wouldn't want to see ANYONE have to go through this process like being dragged over barbed wire to the point of financial, social, political and family ruin. I think the Mayor is wringing his wrists now in nervousness and anxiety to have been dragged into this mess. Taking a look at his past, anyone can tell he isn't this kind of guy to raked someone over the coals and destroy their life. Guess it would be good to ask his old employers if he has that character.

The Ethics Commission without any help from the City Attorney is well capable of carrying out this process and coming to the same conclusion thus recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. The Supes then have to weigh the evidence and the conclusions like a jury and vote.

They are NOT the judges.

So, what happens with juries when cases are publicized to the -enth degree? They can't be impartial.

I leave it up to you trolls to fabricate some alternative superficial spin.

Posted by MistOfTheCity on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

So let's review:
Ed Lee lied repeatedly when he said he would not run for mayor;
Ed Lee was accused of ballot tampering/voter fraud by numerous officials;
Ed Lee insists that taxpayer funded lawyers in the City Attorney's office work for him and not the people of SF;
Ed Lee allows Joanna Hayes-White to continue to serve as fire chief despite accusations of domestic violence;
Ed Lee alleges a retired San Diego police chief knows more about running the Sheriff's office than retired SF Sheriff Mike Hennessey;
Ed Lee was the only person removed from City Hall after a phony bomb threat, because no one else matters;
Ed Lee says we need a stop-and-frisk policy in SF, because racial profiling is good;
Ed Lee says it doesn't matter if he lied under oath, as he is the all-knowing Emperor;
Ed Lee goes off to hob-nob with Republican billionaire Ron Conway.

Will Ed Lee ever learn that people living in glass houses should not throw bricks?

Posted by Erika McDonald on Jul. 13, 2012 @ 5:52 pm