Commissioners sharpen Mirkarimi case and select unlikely rep

Ross Mirkarimi, Eliana Lopez, and David Waggoner speak with reporters after today's hearing.
Steven T. Jones

 The Ethics Commission wrapped up nearly six months worth of proceedings on the official misconduct charges against suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi today, finalizing its findings of fact and choosing Chair Benedict Hur to make its presentation to the Board of Supervisors even though he was the sole dissenting vote against removing Mirkarimi from office. 

After making the key decisions during a marathon meeting on Aug. 16, today's hearing was mostly about mopping up, and it was the most sparsely attended of the hearings so far. But there were still a couple of tough issues to hash out, and the commissioners who voted against Mirkarimi tried to strengthen their case at the last minute.
The City Charter mandates removal of an official if at least nine supervisors find he committed official misconduct. The commission had earlier discussed how they viewed that finding and the punishment as separate issues, but decided against recommending a punishment after discussing that charter language. 
Commissioner Beverly Hayon today sought to remove any doubt about where she stood, adding a personal statement into the record that she thought the sustained charges -- its 4-1 finding that Mirkarimi's grabbed his wife's arm during a Dec. 31 argument and subsequently pleaded guilty to false imprisonment -- warranted Mirkarimi's removal.
In a sign that the commissioners are paying attention to the political climate that has formed up around their deliberations, she made a reference to a discussion and vote last month by the Commission on the Status of Women and sought to clarify any "confusion" about where she stood.
Commissioner Paul Renne also sought to sharpen the findings of fact by adding language indicating the commission found the testimony of Mirkarimi and his wife, Eliana Lopez, to be a less credible and compelling description of what happened on Dec. 31 than the tearful 45-second video that neighbor Ivory Madison helped her make days after the incident displaying the bruise on her arm and saying she wanted to document the incident in case they divorced and there was a custody battle over their three-year-old son. 
That language was inserted in the document without objection, a decision that drew a sharp rebuke from Lopez's attorney, Paula Canny, during the public comment portion of the hearing. "My client wants you to know that you're flat out wrong," Canny said, criticizing the commission's hostile treatment of both Lopez and Linnette Peralta-Haynes, Lopez's confidante on the day Madison unexpectedly called the police. 
"It has to be Eliana is not credible to justify your finding," Canny said, accusing commissioners of selecting facts to fit impressions they formed when watching the emotional video. "The only reason Eliana made that video is to be used in a custody dispute."
Mirkarimi attorney David Waggoner tried unsuccessfully to make changes to a commission summary document that he called "very one-sided," including trying to add language indicating that the commission had unanimously rejected most of the charges that Mayor Ed Lee brought against Mirkarimi, such as witness dissuasion, abuse of power, and interfering with a police investigation. 
Waggoner also objected to Hur's suggestion that attorney Scott Emblidge, who is doing pro bono legal work on the proceedings for both the commission and the Board of Supervisors, calling it a conflict of interest given that the commission's role is akin to that of prosecutor. And on that point, he found support from Renne, who was unaware that Emblidge will also be advising the supervisors, a dual role he found troubling. "I'm a little surprised and I don't know why the board doesn't have independent counsel," Renne said.
Emblidge promised a "dry recitation" of the commission's findings, but Waggoner recommended the commission's executive director, John St Croix, when pressed by Hur for an alternative, a choice Hur rejected because St. Croix hasn't been present at all the hearings. Finally, Renne suggested that Hur do the presentation, saying that he has been fair and represented all arguments well during the proceedings so far, something that Hayon and Commissioner Dorothy Liu enthusiastically agreed with. 
It was an unconventional decision given that Hur made strong arguments on Aug. 16 about the troubling precedent that he thinks the commission's decision represents, saying it gives the mayor too much power and opens the door to political manipulation if the official misconduct provisions are construed so broadly.
But he accepted the duty, telling the commissioners: "I'm willing to do it. It is awkward given that I was in the dissenting view, but I'll do my best."The case is expected to be sent to the board by Sept. 18 and it will have 30 days to act, meaning the decision will be just a few weeks before an election in which five supervisors are running to keep their jobs.Mirkarimi's team has sought to delay the transfer of the case until after the election, noting many political interest groups and supervisorial candidates have been publicly putting pressure on the supervisors to remove Mirkarimi.


Best to postpone the supe hearing until after the election, as Ross is requesting.

This "family matter, personal matter" has been blown way out or proportion.

It's a right-wing conspiracy against progressives, as Ross said yesterday.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 11, 2012 @ 7:22 pm
Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 4:13 am

Yes! Why should Ross be treated any differently than others convicted of a crime? In addition, if Ross was so worried about the BOS candidates who are running for office he should have done the honorable thing and resigned.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 9:43 am

Last Friday night the acting fire chief of Gilroy was caught in a sting purchasing alcohol for a minor. He submitted his resignation because he felt it was the right thing to do and that he had brought shame to his department. Why couldn't Ross do the same thing?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 11:46 am

All of them.

Posted by Sue Grissom on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 11:30 am

All of them.

Posted by Sue Grissom on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 11:31 am

"Best to postpone the supe hearing until after the election, as Ross is requesting."

But why is Ross requesting that the hearing be put off until after the election?

As the Guardian is constantly explaining, the people of San Francisco wuv Ross. If they have the vote before the election, then the people of San Francisco will be able to truly reward the supervisors for Standing With Ross.

You get the impression that Ross suspects that he is less than popular in SF these days?

Posted by Guestier Than Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 6:37 am

inevitable. After all, he will have "aides" who will know the other supes well, and know what they are thinking. And it's unlikely that many supes will want to vote against a 75% opinion among the voters.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 8:26 am

with maybe. (SFBG forum staff: filtering program?)

Not even the most ridiculous trolls have claimed 75% of the voters yet, so you must be new here. "Welcome"... i put in quotes...

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 9:21 am

The others werte in the 60%-70% range, as reported in the Chronicle.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 9:45 am

with "nope" -- SFBG forum staff: filtering program?

Actually the "76% poll" was only reported by internet trolls and newspaper gossip columnists... and it wasn't even purported to be of "voters" but of "San Franciscans."

All the polls cited by anti-Mirkarimi haters are B.S.

Of the *only* two polls which have been backed up with the sort of documentation listing common everyday information anyone in their right mind would insist on seeing before bloviating on about their results -- i.e. margin of error, methodology, polling question wording, etc. -- one was an obviously unreliable push poll, and the other was an obviously unreliable push poll conducted in skewed manner and before Ross Mirkarimi had an opportunity to get his side of the story out.

That said, the latest push poll, conducted after the Ethics Commission testimony of Ross Mirkarimi and Eliana Lopez; after the testimony of Ed Lee, his suspicious disappearance from the stand while under questioning and rather interesting disparities between what he said and what others are on the record with; and despite being a push poll conducted under other results-skewing mechanisms, only showed a bare majority of voters thinking a vote against supporting Lee's suspension of Ross as sheriff should count against the supervisors in contested elections casting such votes.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 10:09 am

Lilli is absolutely correct. 51 percent of the people polled would likely vote against a supervisor who voted to reinstate Mirkarimi. That is a bare majority.

But what he fails to mention is that only 19 percent of those polled were more likely to support a supervisor voted for reinstatement (the remaining 30 percent said it would make no difference). That's a more than 2.5 - 1 margin against reinstatement. So much for the broad groundswell of support for Mirkarimi.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 11:56 am

51% not wanting a supe to vote for Mirkarimi and 19% wanting support (isn't the most common estimate of SFBG Progressives also estimated at 19-20% of the electorate?)

So if you net it out a vote against Mirkarimi will improve your chances with about a net 1/3 of the voters, with another 1/3 canceling each other out and 1/3 not caring.

Mirkarimi is aware of this and is begging for the vote to be delayed until after the election (prompting every inmate in his jail to ask why they couldn't set the date for their own trials). Don't think that you're going to be able to explain the concept to @lilli, however. The sophistication to analyze data in anything but the simplest fashion just doesn't exist for him.

Posted by Another Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

wanting Ross gone. When you consider that Lee beat Avalos 60-40, that means a significant number of Avalos supporters want Ross gone.

If you believe the 75% poll, and personally that fits best with my real-world experience, then nearly 405 of those who voted for Avalos want Ross gone.

Now, this might be ebcause many on the left see Ross as a liability. And I suspect many more will decide that when he loses. But when even the left is divided over RossGate. it looks bad for him.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

The poll was a push poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, a firm which specializes in modifying public perception on political issues with strong ties to the Democratic establishment.

The poll .pdf report doesn't appear on the PPP website -- perhaps further indicating that it's not something they are particularly proud of -- and is a robo poll which is a type of poll using some complex processes to "fix" the results so that they would tend match results of a convetional poll, so I think the numbers in the .pdf -- if they are true at all, since the firm did not post it on their own site -- are a bit more suspect on that basis alone.

What makes it a push poll?

Read the questions and see for yourself.

And, by the way, the poll was conducted during the evening on a weekend which is guarateed to skew the results towards the more "conservative" side of the spectrum.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

Pretty bold; quite interesting that Ross got the support that he did given the timing of the poll and the absurdly slanted questions.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

The respondants were not asked if whether they would vote for a supervisor who voted against Lee's program to eliminate Ross Mirkarimi, they were asked whether it would have a positive or negative effect on their tendency to vote for a candidate.

Why would you get such an obvious fact wrong?

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

"the commission found the testimony of Mirkarimi and his wife, Eliana Lopez, to be a less credible and compelling description of what happened on Dec. 31 than the tearful 45-second video that neighbor Ivory Madison helped her make"

What? A live video is more compelling than all the contradictory statements the Ross/couple made afterward?

Where's the logic there?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 11, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

The video was a spontaneous, authentic account at the actual time of the incident. There was no reason for Eliana to tell a lie, and her fear at the time was quite evident.

But now, both Ross and Eliana want Ross to get his paycheck back, and so they are saying and doing whatever they think might manipulate them. tHey've both changed their stories and contradicted themselves. Any credibility they had was shot.

The video was so damning that, when the judge agreed to have it admitted as evidence, ross immediately copped a plea rather than risk a trial, because he knew he would lose. Which is why he will lose this too.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 4:16 am

Acting as Eliana's lawyer, Ivory Madison convinced Eliana to make the video under the pretext that it would be used in some future custody battle.

I think Ivory intended to have Eliana make the false claims such as that she'd had her arm grabbed previously but the best she could get from Eliana -- herself being a good actress but an honest person and therefore a rather poor liar -- was the ambiguous statement that has subsequently been used to "prove" that Ross had grabbed her arm previously.

Of course you believe what you want to believe -- and certainly its because you care so much about women and domestic violence.

Comment on the documentary Girl Model yet?

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 6:13 am

Eliana to destroy Ross's career if Ross hadn't been violent in the first place.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 9:57 am

wear her pajamas, no makeup, hair pulled back and do what Phil Bronstein had suggested,ie: destroy a powerful person by accusing them of domestic violence(Sharon Stone custody fight) think that was spontaneous and actual and authentic? You think Poison didn't coerce her into making a video,which Poison made and orchestrated,telling her it had to be done right away or she could lose her child? YOu weren't aware that Poison's alter-ego is a female vengeance superhero? In that video, Eliana resists Poison, saying very clearly that the tape is only for any possible custody fight. look at it again...use your brain.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 6:29 am

It only matters what the content was. And it was a clearly scared and injured wife despaerately seeking some help to constrain her abuser.

The video comes across as far more truthful than all her utterances after lawyers got involved trying to do damage control on Ross's collapsing career.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 9:53 am

You didn't view the video: It's neither an excited utterance or spontaneous. She arrived at the neighbor's on new year's day happy and upbeat but with a mission: to get legal advice about Calif law on child custody. The video was scripted and directed by poison ivory, and Eliana demonstrated no fear of her husband whatsoever. In fact, she repeatedly and consistently states she wants counseling and her marriage to last. Ethics committed to giving in-person testimony greater weight, yet to manipulate a decision they cite the video as true testimony. The stink from Ethics carries over the bay area.

Posted by Patty on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

limpid, starry eyes. In fact, I think I might have detected a single, solitary tear cascading down her impossibly perfect cheekbones.

Then again, Patty, you make a good point. She is an actress, after all.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

@Guest you say: "The video was a spontaneous, authentic account at the actual time of the incident."

Don't be so naive. This video was a shenanigan plan by the neighbor to gain an advantage for a possible child custody dispute. Thanks.

Posted by jccourt on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

activists are ugly lesbians who never get any action and so are down on a loving het couple who exude raw and rampant sexuality.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

Everyone tries to ignore the sexuality involved in this issue and it's clear as day to me. Ross is powerfully sexual - one cannot be in his presence without feeling his overwhelmingly masculine energy coursing through the room, throbbing and pulsing along the unseen corridors which channel that energy to wherever it goes. The shrieking harridans of the DV community feel this and they are so sexually stunted that instead of being receptive to it they want to destroy it - they're terrified by it. Remember - these are women who are anti-sex, the opposite of sex-positive.

We can all try to ignore this element but we do so at our own risk. If the hussies of the DV community get their way this time soon they'll be prohibiting good, cleaning, powerful sex for everyone - this is but the first battle in the sex wars of the 21st century and I will not allow Ross and the incredibly elegant Eliana to be its first martyrs. Thanks.

Posted by jccourt on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

Unnecessary for any further response here.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

make further comments.

Actually I think JC has made some good points here about the hidden motives of the sex-negative DV activists.

And when the light catches Ross just right, he does look a little like Omar Sharif.

Posted by Anonymous on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

This so called ethic's commission have shown that they are nothing else than a political tool of the mayor. They should all retire in shame. Thanks.

Posted by jccourt on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

-- to initiate a recall campaign against DA Gascon's recent appointment to the Ethics Commission, Paul Renne?

I mean, does not his absurd interpretation of the San Francisco Charter -- passed by voters in 1995 presumably after they read the ballot digest which advertised it as not making any substantive changes in local ethics law -- to mean that *any* action which "falls below the standards of decency, good faith and right action impliedly required of all public officials" can be used to remove an official regardless of whether it is in their official capacity merits his prompt removal from the commission charged with applying that law?

I say *YES!* and I'm willing to start gathering signatures at any time.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

lawyer, but in really acting as agent to the the Rose Pak/Ed Lee machine according to instructions passed to her through Phil Bronstein -- had Eliana make after telling her she needed it for a possible future custody battle over her only son; in which Ivory attempted to suborn perjury, but only succeeded in pressuring Eliana to make an ambiguous statement suggesting a prior arm grabbing, carries more weight than Eliana's sworn testimony in front of the Ethics Panel.

Makes perfect sense.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 11, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

in the next door, having seen the bruises and heard the fights, did the right thing by calling the cops. That may just have saved Eliana's life.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 4:17 am

Eliana Lopez never was in any danger for her life. Thanks.

Posted by jccourt on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

Every spouse who has been murdered probably at some earlier time just suffered a "momentary" arm grab in a car.

DV is pernicious because it grows over time. I truly believe that Madison may have saved Eliana's life, and that we should all look out for our fellow sistah's.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

Don't bother trying to explain this to the pro-Ross comment posters. They already know and they don't care. You have to realize that all of the various Ross supporters leaving comments here are, in reality, just 2 or 3 people using different aliases. These guys belong to a slim minority in the gay male community who are extremely misogynistic. They're the kind of men who get pissed if they even see lesbians hanging out in the Castro. Luckily, they do not speak for the majority of gay men here in SF, but they ARE very vocal (and obnoxious).

As for me, I think this whole thing has gone too far. In my opinion, Ross should be required to comply with the sentence handed down by the judge in his criminal trial and, if people want to start a recall campaign against him, then the voters will have the final say (as it should be). But that's just my opinion.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

Eliana Lopez never was in any danger for her life. Thanks.

Posted by jccourt on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

Real women, not big-butted manhaters like Attorney Poison Ivory or Big Butt Upton, know that our progressive sheriff isn't guilty of anything other than a slight disagreement with his wife.

We also know that removing him for something so trivial sets a terrible standard which will haunt San Francisco for decades if this travesty of justice goes through. This whole "trial" stinks worse than the Salem witch trials or that which destroyed Captain Dreyfus' life - where is the outrage? Where is the anger at what this beautiful family has been put through? Seeing them at the rally yesterday, so beautiful and so happy to be together, cemented in my mind the fact that we are seeing an injustice here worse than what the Armenians went through in 1915, worse than what befell the Native Americans after Columbus "discovered" the New World - we are witnessing the genocide of the Mirkarimi family live and uncensored.

We stand behind our strong, powerful and progressive sheriff. We will always stand with him - we will never accept anything other than him resuming his office with full back pay.

Posted by JCCourt on Sep. 11, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

total dreamboat, and how Eliana is such a cute little hispanic thing. Other than those fat, ugly DV activist hags, what attractive woman would not believe Ross here?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 4:20 am

Eliana is slim, beautiful and indescribably elegant. She's a famous movie star in her native country. Many women find that threatening - particularly the awful harridans of the DV community, most of whom have never known a moment of pure sexual bliss in their lives - they view everything through their lens, a lens which is clouded by hatred of men and hatred of beautiful women.

That's why you see the fat, ugly wenches of the DV community like Bev "Big Butt" Upton squeak like rats and scatter like cockroaches when confronted with the beauty, the elegance, the seductiveness of Ross and Eliana - they can't handle that this family loves one another so much, they can't handle that their attempts to tear them apart isn't working - they are frightened and they should be. Because as I said when Ross retakes his office we're hatching a plan to "deal" with these awful women so no one else ever has to go through this again. I have thousands of outraged women behind me on this and we will soon have the power of the sheriff's office too. The rats and cockroaches better find a place to hide - soon there won't be many left.

Posted by JCCourt on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 9:58 am

who can never know the depths of joy and passion that Ross and his little hispanicette enjoy on a regular basis.

It's envy and jealousy that is behind this; not justice.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 10:14 am

Don't possess enough gray matter to make any points useful to their cause, can only do damage to those holding valid opinions by attempting to attribute reprehensible words to them.

"JCCourt" hasn't posted anything on this site in a while and likely won't see the perversion that has been worked on her; all by those who pretend to care about women's issues.

Imps, you are a reprehensible and vile.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 10:30 am

up to and including the present. She has observed the attractiveness of Ross and his diminutive hottie, and tellingly contrasted that with the evil vixens of the DV movement.

She has helped me hone my articulations of support for Ross and for men everywhere who get caught doing "momentary" and "understandable" acts of abuse to their otherwise stunningly attractive spouse.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 11:17 am

I see myself as leading a movement here - a movement of real women who understand that grabbing, yanking & shaking are all part of a normal relationship. And that the political context of this should be paramount above anything else. Our handsome, progressive sheriff has done so much for vulnerable communities while in office - including for the ungrateful hussies of the DV community. And he's been paid back how? By these wenches attempting to destroy his lovely family. If it weren't for the beautiful Eliana standing by her man (except when she had to go to Venezuela to make money because the evil Ed Lee took away the family's paycheck) who knows where he'd be?

The real hero in all of this is not me - it's Eliana. I sincerely hope she considers running for office soon. I could see her making an excellent mayor once Ed Lee is recalled.

Posted by JCCourt on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

Mayor, and Ross as special DA with responsibility for prosecuting DV cases. After all, who better to catch a DV perp than someone who knows intimately how they think?

Poachers make the best gamekeepers, as they say in my Country Club.

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

""yanking & shaking are all part of a normal relationship""

So ya like the rough-stuff KKKraft, do you?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 11:22 am

...and so would pretend the bag is its fort, and that those outside want to get inside but can't... "ha ha ha you out there, can't touch me!"

Useless imp troll.

*Nobody* worries about what you write because in being so lame you serve invalidate the position of those whom you aspire to assist. Hmmm... an acusation I've heard made toward my own writing, but in this case true.

Just like bad behaving children, the anti-Mirkarimi nonsense generators.

Posted by lilliipubicans on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

Check out Melissa Griffin's wildly entertaining expose of all the moves Mirkarimi is making to try and save his sorry ass - including attempting to postpone, through endless objections, any attempt to hold the removal vote at the Board before the election.

And who's busy as a little beaver on the Examiner's site commenting up a storm? Our own lil' bot lillipublicans. Who, if the picture he's using to post is any indication, has a very good reason for being a 50 year old virgin who lives in an SRO.

Posted by Troll II on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

Danimal_ssf, same crap you post here under multiple names. Pathetic. Obvious.

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 12:58 pm