Eliana Lopez is a victim, but of whom?

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Lopez expresses an understandable, if inadvertent, sentiment on the witness stand.
Mike Koozmin

It's been an eventful visit to San Francisco this week for Venezuelan actress Eliana Lopez, who spent the last two evenings on the witness stand testifying before the Ethics Commission as it considers removing her husband, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, from office for official misconduct for grabbing her arm on Dec. 31. And then today in court, she helped persuade Judge Garrett Wong to lift the stay-away order that has barred the couple from having any contact with each other since January, allowing this battle-weary couple to finally share an much-needed embrace.

Lopez didn't want any of this – not the police and prosecutors going after her husband and getting an order to keep her family apart, not Mayor Ed Lee suspending Mirkarimi and taking away the salary the family needed now more than ever (compounding his failure to ask Lopez what really happened by refusing to allow the city to pay for her plane fare back from Venezuela, where she's been staying with family and looking for acting jobs, to testify in his proceedings), not the hypocritical statements of concern that she's been victimized, made by people who she considers to be the real abusers of her and her family.

Her perspective on this whole sordid affair became crystal clear while spending more than three hours on the stand being grilled by Deputy City Attorney Peter Keith and the commissioners, where she said that she's never been scared of Mirkarimi but that San Francisco has become a scary place to her after being betrayed and victimized by the people entrusted to help her.

“At this point, I think he's safer in Venezuela than San Francisco,” Lopez said of her three-year-old son when Keith condescendingly asked about how he's doing in her home country. Keith's belittling tone toward this supposed crime victim prompted Mirkarimi attorney Shepherd Kopp to tell reporters, “The questioning of Ms. Lopez, so far, I think is just offensive.”

Clearly, some of Lopez's decisions helped create this mess. She said on the stand that she regrets telling her neighbors Callie Williams and Ivory Madison what happened on Dec. 31, even if she believes they should have kept her confidence as they promised. And there are good legal reasons why domestic violence victims shouldn't be able to stop the prosecutions of their abusers, who they may still be scared to offend.

But none of that excuses the complete disregard for Lopez, her perspective, and her interests that has been shown by San Francisco's law enforcement, political, and domestic violence advocacy communities – a point that Mirkarimi supporters have repeatedly made throughout the proceedings, emphasizing that they believe and support Lopez.

“I didn't expect that my lawyer could call the police on her own,” Lopez said of Madison, whom she said had represented herself as a legal adviser who was helping her create evidence for a child custody case if her marital problems ended in divorce. “I thought that was my decision.”

Once Madison took a more aggressive posture in urging Lopez to go the police, including “calling Ross's political enemies” to help her bring him down, Lopez testified, “I realized that I couldn't trust her.” But it was too late. As soon as Lopez clearly said that she didn't want police involvement, that was when Madison called them.

“I told her, 'you don't have my permission to do this. I trusted you,'” Lopez said she told Madison after being told the police were on the way, sending Lopez into a panic. “When I left Ivory Madison's house, I was so shaking I couldn't find my car...I was feeling betrayed and I was so angry.”

Toward the end of her testimony, she said, “After Ivory Madison called the police, I felt betrayed, I felt like I had betrayed Ross.”

Anyone who knows Lopez or watched her on the stand understands that this is a strong woman who is used to taking care of herself, not a shattered domestic violence victim incapable of acting on her own behalf.

“I said we have to think, Ross, we have to do something,” Lopez testified, explaining her reaction to the police involvement and her text message to “use your power” to do something, which Mirkarimi replied to by saying there was nothing he could do at that point, despite unproven accusations that he tried to dissuade witnesses and thwart the investigation. “It was me who was pushing him.”

Even after the controversy went public and threatened his career, Lopez said it her who told him not to resign and to fight for his job. “I told him, 'you won the election, stay strong, we can win this,” she testified.

Nobody wants to minimize domestic violence, but let's keep some perspective on what happened here. Lee may or may not really believe that Mirkarimi “beats his wife,” as he told reporters in justifying his overreaction, but the evidence that has emerged doesn't dispute the consistent contention by Mirkarimi and Lopez that he grabbed her arm one time, for one moment, and that was the full extend of the abuse.

“I bruise really easily,” Lopez testified. “Just Theo playing with me, I get bruised.”

Some people do. And while that doesn't excuse what Mirkarimi did – getting physical with a partner is never okay, as he said on the stand, accepting his fate – it does indicate that perhaps Mirkarimi's critics have lost their perspective, sense of proportion, and realization that domestic violence laws are supposed to be about helping and protecting the victim.

Does anyone even want to try to make an argument that's what's happened in this case?

Comments

The whole procedure was a political witchunt from day one.

The only reason Ed Lee isn't convicted of anything, is because it's up to the same dirty scoundrels like Gascon to do the prosecuting. They're not going to go after their own machine.

Frankly, this probably isn't Ed Lee's first felony by a long shot. City Hall under Brown-Newsom was a cesspool of putrid corruption, and Ed Lee was in the thick of it. The guy's as dirty as they come. He and most of the sycophantic flunkies who surround him (many left over from the Brown-Newsom years) should have been in jail long ago. But again, who's going to investigate and prosecute? The wolves are guarding the henhouse.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

Here ya go:

http://www.justice.gov/usao/can/meetattorney.html

Her name is Melinda Haag, US Attorney for Northern California. Her office is in the Federal Building on Golden Gate Avenue.

Just tell her what you told us about all those details of Lee's corruption. And Gascon too. She'll want to know about the issues in one of the largest cities in her district.

There! I did something helpful.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

Lee got a landslide victory on a pro-businees, pro-jobs mandate and of course to you that means he is a felon.

Ross beats his wife and that's an innocent mistake.

Hypocrisy.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

Jason Grant Garza ... the elephant in the room, the real nutter ...

Let us get some perspective on "TESILYING" investigations ....

go to http://www.myownprivateguanatanamo.com where the CITY "TESTILIED" to have my case C02-3485PJH dismissed in 2003. In 2007 they sign a "Confession/Settlement Agreement" with the Office of Inspector General admitting fault and guilt for having BROKEN FEDERAL MEDICAL LAW and then the city left its INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD. Any questions? Where was the investigation ( I repeated requested and demanded) ... it is 2012 now.

Go to the website ... it is there.

IT IS GOOD to BE KING MAYOR ...

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 6:25 am

>"Oh, and while the investigation is going on, perhaps it's best he step down temporarily pending the results."

Okay Greg. SO now we'll have a system where, if anyone makes an uncorroborated accusation of the Mayor, he must step down from office until it's cleared up.

Sounds perfectly brilliant to me.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 10:23 am

Jason Grant Garza ... to Daniele ... here's a TWIST no one has asked in this clean above reproach ETHICS Commission and MAYOR'S KINGDOM.

Were not four SUPERVISORS charged with official misconduct (while in office) for conduct before ROSS' December conduct (while not in office)? If you go to http://www.sfbos.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=41145 you will see. So my question since this all above REPROACH (ha,ha,ha) ... didn't SUNSHINE find them guilty of "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT"? Why aren't these cases being heard if they (the SUPERVISORS) might be removed for "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT"? How can it be that if it is TRUE these supervisors can sit and decide? Shouldn't they at the very least recuse until this PROCESS (ha,ha, ha) "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT is done on them (SUPERVISORS) for maybe they will be REMOVED (ha,ha,ha) before they can sit in DOUBLE JEOPARDY of ROSS?

Just thought I'd ask the question since as the MAYOR and ETHICS assures us ... this is NOT RIGGED (ha,ha,ha).

Want to see just how they can rig ... go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com

Oh, and ask me about the PERJURY follow up I demanded in case C02-3485PJH ...

Ha,ha,ha.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 8:06 am

But of course, as we all know, Ivory Madison did testify in written form.

Posted by Daniele E. on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

of live testimony in front of the ethics commission. Wonder why? review Commisioner Renne's comments about her declaration...pages and pages of ivory poisoning the well..much of it excluded from the record.. ask yourself why?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 8:20 am

spoken, over-politicized, legally-coached testimony.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 9:08 am

Coached by that snake who ingratiated herself into Eliana's life and falsely presented herself as an attorney.

Ivory Madison... the Linda Tripp of San Francisco

Posted by Greg on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

Are you suggesting that Ivory inflicted the bruise?

So Ross and Eliana are lying? Again?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

arm bruise..except in your drippy dreams.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2012 @ 11:30 am

ruled to admit the video as evidewnce did he "come clean".

The fact that Ross and Eliana might say some of the same things doesn't mean it's the truth. They're both being coached.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

Ross never denied the bruise. STFU already. Go home to Chronland--Marin, where Phil "I Am a Sex Addict" and his Prozac trust fund bride hang out with Ivory Madison and her pathetic husband.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 23, 2012 @ 9:56 am

What do you mean "refused"?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 23, 2012 @ 6:25 pm

It is going to take more than that video to convince me that Mirkarimi is a psychopath as the Mayor is claiming.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

He is, however, an asshole of the highest degree - something to which he has admitted. He has long had a terrible reputation as a boss and a boyfriend and clearly he was a pretty shitty husband and father too. His public personae was long at odds with what those of us on the inside knew about him and this whole disgusting episode has pulled back the curtains on the life of Ross Mirkarimi - and it's not a pretty picture.

Posted by Troll II on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

Troll II, you are a troll. You are a liar too. Repeatedly you have been proven wrong and its a wonder why I felt the need to respond to you vacant diatribe. Gosh you suck.

Mirkarimi is a good guy who made one mistake. His long service in the cause of progressivism has been temporarily put on hiatus according to the political whim of those who mostly just serve themselves, and zeroes such as yourself naturally form yourselves into cheering squads such developments.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

His public persona and his private personality. I have spoken with numerous people who have done various types of work for and with the City. City workers, private parties and constituents of Ross. Overwhelmingly the picture painted is what Troll wrote- a major asshole, utterly arrogant, demeaning and and all around jerk.

Now- yes he was a reliable progressive vote and for that, he appears to have garnered some loyalty. But I think it is a stretch to say he was a good guy that made one mistake. More accurate to say that he was a major jerk and kharma is a bitch.

Posted by D.native on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

Progressives like Mirkarimi who publicly support ballot measures demanding people turn in their handguns to the police while secretly keeping THREE handguns themselves are hypocrites.

You're arguing with yourself again here. Mirkarimi himself said he has been overly arrogant - everyone in City Hall knew what a dick he was. This is not a surprise.

Posted by Troll II on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

>"temporarily put on hiatus"

Posted by Troll on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

use of the English language. I wouldn't mind at all if you managed to teach me something -- and I am firmly of the belief that *anyone* can learn from *anyone* in this world -- but you seem to have a track record of falling on your face in this realm which results in you looking like a pompous jackass.

In your overly ambitious attempt at deriding my use of "temporary hiatus" as a tautology -- cleverly coached in a reference to the great, if semi-radical wordsmith of baseball fame -- you do injustice to the language by ignoring the shades of meaning involved.

Would anyone in their right mind criticize me for saying "temporary break"? "short hiatus?" No of course not. Your criticism of my speech is of as little substance as most of your spurious emissions here.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 4:37 am

I have so much to learn from you, obviously.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 5:07 am

like "craven family-destroying hypocrite Republicans"... well, my point already was made in the previous post anyhow.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 5:27 am

>Would anyone in their right mind criticize me for saying "temporary break"? "short hiatus?"

Actually you could be criticized for 'temporary break' because it is no different from 'break'.

And 'short hiatus' describes a different situation than a 'long hiatus'. What is 'temporary hiatus' different from? A 'permanent hiatus'?

Posted by Troll on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 6:52 am

"Temporary" has a connotation meaning "short" as opposed to "long"; "Hiatus" has no specific connotation in that regard.

You *are* a hopeless twit.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 10:50 am

OK, calm down. You're right of course.

I was obviously using one of those bogus 'push' dictionaries like merriam-webster.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 11:25 am

Funny thing about Lilli is that you can string him along all day and he just keeps playing the dancing bear.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 11:43 am

"Definition of TEMPORARY
: lasting for a limited time
— tem·po·rar·i·ness noun
See temporary defined for English-language learners »
See temporary defined for kids »
Examples of TEMPORARY

The drug will give you temporary relief from the pain.
The delay is only temporary.
The settlers built temporary shelters.

Origin of TEMPORARY
Latin temporarius, from tempor-, tempus time
First Known Use: circa 1564
Related to TEMPORARY
Synonyms: ad interim, impermanent, interim, provisional, provisionary, provisory, short-term
Antonyms: long-term, permanent"

So, Troll. What do you think of "the delay is only temporary?"

Troll: Yogi Berra! Yogi Berra!

Dumb shit.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

but to say he was a terrible boyfriend is a crock. Evelyn Nieves, New York Times writer, former Associated Press bureau chief here was Ross's longest , serious relationship. They lived together in that same apartment for over seven years. Local media (other than sfbg) didn't cover her remarks which were reported nationally. Ross was a great boyfriend, never any abuse of any kind, still great friends. Ross and Evelyn who is utterly unimpeachable were together longer than any minor relationships like "fatal attraction" drama queen, "Boobs" Flores. Miss Flores never lived with Ross, pretends they were mutually in love, sends him threatening poems about destroying him politically if she gets the chance. Read all of her testimony..it's in the docs www.sfethics.org.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 8:26 am

together is a pretty picture actually.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 8:27 am

obviously hate each other.

The bruise has healed though, I'll give you that.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 9:02 am

Yeah, they hate each other so much that they were practically eating each other up when they were reunited. Let's be real here...you don't even know this couple. Those of us who do know how attached and committed they are to each other...so kindly STFU!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

and how she tricked him into taking Theo to Caracas.

What you see for public consumption is scripted by lawyers.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

Yeah, they hate each other so much that they were practically eating each other up when they were reunited. Let's be real here...you don't even know this couple. Those of us who do know how attached and committed they are to each other...so kindly STFU!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

If Eliana wanted to be with Ross, she'd stay.

She's leaving, again.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2012 @ 8:44 am

Some of us depend on having a job.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2012 @ 9:26 am

Because Ross would still have his.

I'm sure Eliana will eventually get her alimony deal although, given how much Ross is willing to spend on lawyers even when he is the guilty party, there won't be much left by the time she gets her gold-digging hands on it.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2012 @ 9:44 am

How much? think really hard about what you don't know and get back to us.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2012 @ 11:32 am

from the number of lawyers, their hours and their hourly rate.

Evidently he'd rather spend his family's money on that than moving on.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

A more relevant issue should be what taxpayers are paying for this sordid spectacle. Months worth of lawyers' and investigators' time, payments to expert witnesses and consultants, diverting the Ethics Commission from its main role of regulating campaign spending in an election year to create an entire legal and administration process from scratch, setting up the Board of Supervisors for a no-win decision right before an election and with serious issues like CPMC's project pending, creating clouds of suspicion over Mayor Lee and others who testified under oath, paying an interim sheriff when you might be forced to reinstate the suspended mayor with back pay, and unnecessarily creating a legal liability by removing an elected official before you even investigate his crime and then engaging in an aggressive campaign to publicly defame him. Taxpayers will pay millions of dollars to do something that is customarily accomplished with a recall election. Why?

Posted by steven on Jul. 23, 2012 @ 10:41 am

"Taxpayers will pay millions of dollars to do something that is customarily accomplished with a recall election. Why?"

Because Mirkarimi didn't have the decency to resign.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 24, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

when even the haters admit that Ross may pull through. The city's persecutors are starting to look like The Inquisition, the Ethics Commissioners are looking like the judges in a kangaroo court of a show trial in some god-forsaken Banana Republic. And your boy Ed Lee is coming across as the second rate hack that he is... not to mention possible felon.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

Except, of course, he'll be on probation and thus unable to carry a firearm. San Francisco will be the first county in the history of the state of California to have a sheriff who was on probation.

Ridiculous. But all that mattered was that progressives kept the powerless office of sheriff in their hands for 3 more years. Win at any cost.

Posted by Troll II on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

to not be unique? Are you aware that the Sheriff of San Francisco doesn't go around arresting people? Do you think you are in Fresno?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 8:32 am

But you're right, Ross is a suit and not a LE officer. He'd run a mile if there were any real trouble, while being happy to beat on a woman.

Bullies are like that.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 9:07 am

Basically, it has become obvious that the anti-Mirkarimi wagon has lost its wheels, it looks like the Mirkarimi family will be getting back together, Mayor Lee looks like a real reprobate, and all the mentally and emotionally palsied commenters here are going even further off the rails of truth to try and prolong their sick glee.

The above applies to all the anti-Mirkarimi posters here, but the one above in particular I'll reply to:

Ross Mirkarimi once chased down a purse snatcher in Cole Valley.

You all are despicable liars.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 10:10 am

Eliana is just priming here divorce, custody and alinomy battle. She needs Ross getting his paycheck agains o she can take him to the cleaners.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and she's got him just where she wants him. They deserve each other.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 11:42 am

"priming here divorce"
getting his paycheck agains"...Is that old English?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

And for a decent alimony, Eliana needs Ross to be on salary.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 10:46 pm