Supervisors prepare to receive Mirkarimi case from Ethics

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Ross Mirkarimi's official misconduct case will move from the Ethics Commission to the Board of Supervisors next month.
Mike Koozmin

The Board of Supervisors this week adopted a plan for considering ousting their former colleague, suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, on the official misconduct charges brought by Mayor Ed Lee in connection with Mirkarimi grabbing his wife's arm on Dec. 31. The Ethics Commission is scheduled to make its final recommendation on Aug. 16, after which it will cull together the mountain of documents and evidence developed over the last four months.

Ethics Commission Executive Director John St. Croix tells the Guardian that it will take at least three weeks after the commission votes to compile an official record that already includes documents that now fill three five-inch-thick binders, which will grow with the “findings of fact” and recommendations that the commission will adopt on Aug. 16.

So the board won't formally get the case until Sept. 6 at the earliest, at which point it will have a City Charter-mandated 30 days to make a decision, which requires at least nine votes from the 11-member board to remove Mirkarimi from office. Board sources say they want to give supervisors some time to review the voluminous record before the hearing, but still allow for a continuance if necessary, making the likely hearing date Sept. 18 if all goes according to schedule.

“Everything we have so far is available online, so if they wanted to get a head start, they're welcome to,” St. Croix said of the supervisors.

Despite the fact that the commission spent lots of painstaking hours ruling on the admissibility of evidence – including cutting out most of the 22-page declaration of Lee's star witness, Mirkarimi neighbor Ivory Madison, with commissioners ruling it was a prejudicial attempt to “poison the well” – St. Croix said the entire record will be passed on to supervisors, with strike-throughs or similar indicators for evidence ruled irrelevant or prejudicial.

“It's got to be easy to understand because once the board gets it, the 30-day clock is ticking, so it needs to be clear,” said St. Croix, who says he is still weighing how much of the evidence can be transmitted electronically versus in paper form.

The Ethics Commission opted not to explore accusations that Mayor Lee committed perjury on two separate issues during his live testimony, but the issue of whether he consulted with any supervisors is likely to come up again as it goes to the board. Supervisors, who essentially act as jurors in these proceedings, have been legally barred from discussing the case, particularly with Lee.

Building Inspection Commissioner Debra Walker said her friend Sup. Christina Olague told he that Lee once asked her about filing charges against Mirkarimi. Olague denied it, but then told reporters that she may recuse herself from the case. One other supervisor is also rumored to have discussed the case with Lee (who denied it under oath).

When Mirkarimi attorney David Waggoner addressed the board on Tuesday, he asked them to affirmatively declare they have not discussed the case with anyone before deliberating. Any supervisors who recuse themselves would become de facto votes to keep Mirkarimi in office because doing do still takes nine votes, no matter now many supervisors actually vote.

Waggoner also objected to the short schedule – which includes a 10-minute presentation by a representative from Ethics, 20 minutes by the Mayor's Office, 20 by Mirkarimi's side, a five-minute mayoral rebuttal, and unlimited questions from supervisors and public comment – saying that it belies the serious and unprecedented decision to override voters and remove an elected official.

“This proceeding is extraordinary in its nature,” he said, objecting to the board adopting essentially the same procedures it uses for appealing routine Planning Commission project approvals.

But St. Croix said he welcomed the board's shortening of his agency's presentation, saying its recommendation and the record it compiled should speak for itself. “I don't even know what the commission would present,” he said. “To try to sell it is not seemly.”

Comments

>"The Board of Supervisors this week adopted a plan for considering ousting their former colleague, suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, on the official misconduct charges brought by Mayor Ed Lee in connection with Mirkarimi grabbing his wife's arm on Dec. 31."

First off, you have some seriously awkward grammar going there.

Second, in regard to "charges brought by Mayor Ed Lee in connection with Mirkarimi grabbing his wife's arm"...

I mean wasn't there a CRIMINAL CONVICTION also involved? Did not Lee wait until the courts had acted?

How is that not Colbert level stuff?

Not in terms of humor, just in terms of cartoonishly biased buffoonery.

Posted by Troll on Aug. 03, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

The issue is more whether that assault, and the crime Ross admits, and the attempts to dissuade Madison from reporting the crimes to the police all rise to the level of rendering Ross unsuitable for office.

The people appear by a clear majority to believe that to be the case, but the Supes all have their own agenda's, and it wouldn't surprise me to see the Supes vote along similar lines to SCOTUS in Gore versus Bush.

In the end, it's about politics and not about whether a criminal should be sheriff.

My prediction is that Ross will get his job back by a small margin, and then be a lame duck for two years or until a recall.

Oh, and BTW, any discussions that Lee had with a Supervisor BEFORE this became an ethics case is not a violation of ethics. That's why such investigations are rightly deemed of no interest. and the source indicating otherwise is a biased and suspect source.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 03, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

with a affirmation of the previous comment similarly comprised???

What diabolical verve you show.

The "SCOTUS" reference is exquisite; wherein you falsely attempt to both establish your non-Rightist bona fides -- and foreclose the possibility that the supervisors' doing the right thing will be anything other than politics as usual.

*Here's* what's correct:

You are a tool of the Willie Brown machine.

You care nothing for women or the plight of those in abusive situations -- and certainly not Eliana Lopez who is not and never was in that condition.

By your deceit, you seek to shift the balance of power on the board of supervisors so that there will be more chain stores in San Francisco, more privatization, more fancy giveaways like the America's Cup deal, more gentrification, and more Disneyfication.

In short, you want to destroy San Francisco, and to destroy the city's capacity to lead the nation as it has in so many matters important to progressively-minded Americans (which comprise the majority, by-the-way.)

In (even more) short, YOU ARE SCUM.

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 04, 2012 @ 7:16 am

Thank you for being so direct when so many other wimps such as Redmond and Jones just dance on the head of a pin.

People who disagree with our Progressive ideals are indeed scum, and I would suggest that you were even being kind in that assessment.

Of course this poster is just a tool of the Willie Brown machine and should therefore be tried and then publicly stoned. Their family members should be forced to supply the rocks. Obviously, as you noted, this person cares nothing for the plight of those in abusive situations. It was quite clear.

It is only because of the timidness of those like the SFBG that non Progressives are allowed to speak at all. Hopefully that will change soon.

Criminal conviction, my butt. The fact that the SFBG propagates the false myth that a Progressive hero was convicted of a crime just shows how weak they have become.

Posted by Steroidal Progressive on Aug. 04, 2012 @ 8:10 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... Yes, the FARCE continues ... we really care ... ETHICS and JUSTICE for ALL, ha,ha,ha.

I Have a question ... will the SUPERVISORS sent to ETHICS for "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT" by the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE recuse themselves from the voting? Look at SOTF website in 2011 ( http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=11889 ) for the cases that were referred to ETHICS. Wouldn't that be the the ETHICAL CORRECT THING in order to not cast suspicion and be above reproach - squeaky clean? Or will this too be like the KING MAYOR ... a different set of rules ... just like the different set of RULES and STANDARDS by ETHICS for "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT."

So now that ETHICS has gone for the "POUND of FLESH" from ROSS ... will the SAME apply to the SUPERVISORS or will they be TREATED as the KING MAYOR?

So WHY is NO ONE asking about this? Again the APPEARANCE of attempted STYLE (look new rules and standards) and the REALITY of NO SUBSTANCE ... ( Didn't persue MAYOR ... who SHOULD LEAD by example) ... didn't NOTIFY previous cases of new rules and standards to re-open OLD cases .... hasn't determined whether or not some SUPERVISORS committed "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT" thereby making them NOT able to VOTE (note their acts of MISCONDUCT were done before ROSS - see SUNSHINE website.) REMEMBER this is ETHICS there can BE NO QUESTIONS yet that is ALL there is ...

As a matter of fact .. to LEARN HOW the GAME is PLAYED go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com ... there you will see my letters to ETHICS which I still await response over "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT" that they are/have changes the RULES and STANDARDS over ...

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

Yes the STENCH between the PROCLAIMED (ETHICS and JUSTICE) permeate ...

One set of Rules for Ross another for KING MAYOR and another for SUPES ...

Nothing new though ... go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com

Stop drinking the KOOL AIDE and giving credence to the SIDE SHOW.

JUSTICE for the RICH and JUST THIS for you and me.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Aug. 04, 2012 @ 6:39 am

And the winner is....

Temporary Sheriff Hennessey, who gets to "double-dip" as a member of our beloved "city family".

Yes, she is collecting Ross' salary ($199,000 annually) and her own pension ($172,000 annually) at the same time. $371,000 annually, or $31,000 monthly. Another classic "city family" "double-dip."

And the losers are...

The taxpayers, as usual, and the poor, who get their safety net thinned more and more each year because more of the General Fund has to be dedicated to the "City Family" and its "Retirement Benefits."

Posted by guest on Aug. 04, 2012 @ 9:14 am

least we're saving on Ross's salary and pension. and by alla counts, she's doing a great job and has the respect of the officers, which Ross could never have at this point.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 5:52 am

Presumably she made less than the Sheriff, right? So is her pension really 86% of the Sheriff's salary?

Posted by Troll on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

Hennessey stopped collecting her pension after several months as Sheriff. She's now taking only the Sheriff's pay.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

Not that I want to doubt you, but if you are signing your comment as "Guest" it hardly carries any weight.

"Hennessey stoppped collecting her pension." Citation?

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

much weight as yours. After all, anyone can sign their post as:

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 07, 2012 @ 7:53 am

I'm not saying that the current sheriff hasn't given up double dipping in collecting a pension and the pay Ross Mirkarimi should be earning for doing the job that the people of San Francisco selected him to do, but I simply haven't heard about that story... and it seems the kind of facile tripe the anti-Mirkarimi Lee/Pak/Brown cabal would spout.

So... citation please?

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 07, 2012 @ 1:30 pm
Posted by Guest on Aug. 07, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

Lotsa Willie Brown sox puppets around here.

THAT MAN is STILL running the city from his perch up on Nob Hill.

When will The People see that?

For "the people younited will never be defeated", which is the English rendition of "el pueblo unido jamas ser vencido."

Posted by guest on Aug. 04, 2012 @ 9:22 am

Time for some white man anger around these parts.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 5:52 am

Duplicitous righties are always accusing others. Little wonder such a gem was authored anonymously.

The original comment didn't mention race because it is not *about* race. Its about the political machine that has this city in its grip.

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 8:05 am

persecuting a white. I'd say that's not just playing the race card - it's playing race.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 8:21 am

WB lives in the Regent Condos South of Market. Very expensive and total luxury with heavy security.

Posted by Sfsoma on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 10:59 am

Steven, I first thought to object to the term "cull," then looked it up and found its primary connotation is not as in kill or otherwise remove the weak elements in a group as I'd always thought.

No, rather it means "choose," owing to its etymology. But now I still think that "cull together" is a bit leaden at least... and ironically, if the supervisors are given every bit of the evidence that the EC went through, then they haven't done much effective culling.

How does it make sense to give the "jurors" evidence which the "judges" have ruled inadmissable?

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 04, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

I can't imagine at this stage that Mirkarimi would not take this into another court, maybe federal court, if the BOS votes to remove him.

Actually, it seems unlikely that the Ethics Commission will rule to favor Mayor Lee's ouster of Mirkarimi (Lee has produced no evidence that Mirkarimi violated the City Charter), and if that is the case it's really doubtful that the BOS will go out on a limb to try to sink Mirkarimi.

Posted by Bob_inBeaverton on Aug. 04, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

they know that 3/4 of voters want Ross gone. So the question is whether they will put themselevs to the sword to save a disgraced progressive who besmerched their cause. Not obvious.

It's also not obvious that Ross will have the funds to take this to a higher court, nor that a higher court would not uphold the decision. It also doesn't help Ross's cause that his wife skipped the country rather than stay and support her husband.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 5:54 am

Can we please not forget that Ross is unable to make $$ at the moment and that Eliana can, by returning to Venezuela, more than she could here in San Francisco? Also, can we remember that her father is ill with cancer, and that when she made the decision to leave, she was forcibly separated from Ross anyway, and felt she was in the middle of a crazy circus?

Also: "they know that 3/4 of voters want Ross gone". Not necessarily so. Did you hear Vivian Imperial's testimony at public comment last Tuesday in front of the BOS? You may want to go online and hear it.

And I don't buy your line of Ross being a "disgraced progressive", though I know there are many who will be satisfied with that sentiment. And I don't think Ross has "besmerched their cause". Ross is someone who made a mistake, had anger management issues, and is dealing with them. He was voted in to build on the previous Sheriff's legacy, and is quite capable of doing that still.

Posted by Daniele E. on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

Lee put Olague in a very difficult position with this one. If she does recuse herself and Mirkarimi keeps his job, some in District 5 will blame her for that. If she does vote either way, it could come back to haunt her should Lee be prosecuted for perjury--although at this point, I can't imagine who would do that; Gascon still has his DA training wheels on.

Something tells me that Lee won't let this rest even if Mirkarimi does keep his job. The original prosecution, the plea, and this ethics-commission involvement have been a massive waste of precious city resources, but Lee thinks he is untouchable, and judging by the last two occupants of Room 200, maybe he is. Da Mayor's busier and richer now than he was with all his "female companions" on Thailand junkets, and Newscum's running around the state trying to figure out something to do with all his time since his actual job doesn't require much work.

Posted by John on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 3:45 am

There's simply no non-hearsay evidence.

Lee knows he has 76% support for his removal of Ross and his approval ratings are very good. He can relax either way.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 5:56 am

Always. It is in their make-up. Later comes Stalingrad.

There may not be a perjury case brought against Lee, but he seems to have a tiger by the tail which he didn't expect. This isn't going away and it is no longer Lee's choice.

What makes you think that a pro-Mirkarimi vote is a liability in D5? Ross Mirkarimi is very popular there and Lee is not.

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 7:28 am

"Authoritarians *always* underestimate their opponents.
Always. It is in their make-up. Later comes Stalingrad."

Smirk is the General Chuikov of San Francisco Progressives!

Not One Step Back, Smirk! Behind You Lies the Volga!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 11:27 am

Peskin has a text message from Wong, and he can provide direct testimony of the conversation. Olague would also provide direct, non-hearsay testimony.

The trolls and "guest"s on this board can stop referencing poll numbers. No one believes them.

Some day soon we will get our Sheriff back! Then we can have some real law enforcement leadership in the city.

Posted by Erika McDonald on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 6:53 am

and there were no other witnesses, so that allegation is dead in the water.

A test message is neither here nor there, and remember that there was no prohibition against any such conversation anyway.

Erika/AnnG/ChrisCraft/JJCourt/Daniele, you are really reaching there. DA is going to do nothing.

Moving on, every poll and canvas has indicated a solid support for Ross going. You may not like that but you're a minority. and the Supes know it too.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 7:14 am

I don't trust Lee, and neither do a lot of people. First he reneged on his understanding to act as Interim Mayor, then he calls Ross a wife-beater to the press. The first was "gross" and still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but I guess that's "politics" for you (where it gets its bad name if you ask me), the second was "down and dirty" and irresponsible. He comes out self-serving in both instances, but I say, with these perjury allegations, he's pushing his luck.

"A text message is neither here nor there"? Well, Lee's side doesn't seem to think so since they've got plenty of them in the prosecution's testimony...And as long as we're talking about text messaging, Lee's twittering about Chick-Fill-A looks like a lame attempt to make nice with the progressives, by subverting the right to free speech in the process...Easy to copy Boston Mayor Menino, but smart?

"every poll and canvas has indicated a solid support for Ross going." See my previous comment about that. Writing it doesn't make it so.

Posted by Daniele E. on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

The point of putting people on the stand under oath is that they must be careful not to perjure themselves. It's one thing for Olague to deny talking to Lee about Mirkarimi, it's another thing to deny it on the stand. Both Olague and Walter Wong have a lot to lose if in fact they were compelled to testify under oath and perjured themselves.

Let's presume for a moment that Peskin, Walker, Olague and Wong are all put on the stand under oath and events occurred as Peskin and Walker have described. Before one perjures himself to defend Lee he or she would have to be confident that there were no documents or other witnesses that would confirm Peskin and Walker's version of events. That's something that neither Wong nor Olague can predict with confidence.

Having said the above, it's clear that Gascon won't be initiating any investigation. I doubt the feds would do it without a large public demand for one. However, if Mirkarimi for any reason goes into federal court to seek redress (either if his removal is upheld by the BOS or if there are unsettled monetary issues or some other issue) then the perjury issue can be folded into that case.

In some ways it would be better for Lee if Mirkarimi is reinstated with full backpay so that he has no issues left to resolve. As another person has stated, Lee has a "tiger by the tail" and has been losing more and more in the last several months.

Posted by Bob_inBeaverton on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

he will receive back pay to the day he was suspended by the mayor. That is how he plans on making a dent in the $150,000 he has spent on attorneys to this point.

Lee's actions have not damaged him politically. You're in Oregon so you don't seem to understand that the commenters on the SFBG's Internet site do not represent the vast majority of San Franciscans. Mirkarimi is damaged goods whether he's removed or not - Lee isn't.

There is no "perjury issue." A text message and someone saying "I heard this" does not constitute probable cause. The DA's office has already determined that.

Posted by Troll II on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

Yeah. Nobody is going to be charged with perjury just because the Progressives REALLY, REALLY want them to.

Doesn't work that way.

You have to come up with some type of evidence FIRST. You just don't put somebody up on the stand for no reason. Or just because you don't personally like them.

And you don't have any evidence. Not even close.

It's a grown up thing, you wouldn't understand.

Posted by Troll on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 4:48 pm
Posted by Troll II on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

Erika, I think that in your heart of hearts you REALLY do believe that there is some evidence there. But in the grown up world there just isn't.

Peskin can stand on his head and say 25 times what he thinks Wong told him. Not evidence.

Walker can write down in blood what she thinks Olague told her. Same thing.

In the grown up world the word of one person cannot be used to successfully accuse another of perjury. And that cryptic Peskin email that says nothing about Lee offering Mirkarimi a job isn't even close. You see, there are about a dozen other plausible interpretations. It only seems like it has to be about a job offer because you want it to be so badly.

Sorry, I realize that you REALLY want there to be some type of evidence, but there really just isn't.

So why don't you try to act like a grown up. You'd be better off if you focused on things that actually exist rather than living in a make believe fantasy pretend world.

Posted by Troll on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 7:19 am

on this board have is false innuendo and tiresome lies about "polls."

Their pathetic hope is that by telling the lie often enough they can shift opinion among the public and thereby affect the board vote.

The fact is that no valid poll exists showing even majority support for Lee right now; let alone in districts where crucial supervisorial races are taking place.

The *only* poll that was ever released was taken during a time when all manner of scurrilous and salacious accusations were being made in the press, and prior to Ross Mirkarimi and his wife Eliana Lopez having an opportunity to get their side of the story out -- and it was a push poll which prefaced its question as to whether there was support for Lee's action with the lie that Ross' plea bargain constituted him getting off lightly.

The is *no* other poll and you can bank that up until the time when the likes of "Troll" and "Guest" provide a direct URL link to it; not some more vile innuendo from some vile newspaper gossip columnist(s).

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 7:42 am

other than a damning indictment of Ross and the agenda-driven apologists who seek to impose a violent criminal as sheriff in this city.

Luckily, over three out of four voters see right thought that.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 8:20 am

Love your silly alliteration

Posted by guest on Aug. 05, 2012 @ 12:09 pm