Gascón's challenge to Mirkarimi belies his own official shortcomings

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George Gascón, shown here in January when he announced charges against Mirkarimi, is still making demands.
Steven T. Jones

The backlash against Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's reinstatement by those who oppose him has often been biting and bitter – an indicator that coming together around real solutions to domestic violence, something most supervisors pledged, could still be difficult – but the most hypocritical reaction came yesterday from District Attorney George Gascón.

“Ross is now reinstated as our Sheriff and I accept that. What I will not accept is any compromise of public safety as a result of his reinstatement. Ross Mirkarimi is on probation in this county for a crime of domestic violence. He is, at a minimum, incapable of adequately performing the functions of his office that relate to crimes of domestic violence,” Gascón said in a public statement, calling for Mirkarimi to “wall himself off” from all domestic violence programs and inmates and hire an independent special administrator to oversee them.

Gascón didn't explain why he believes Mirkarimi can't oversee these functions, although that's been a common refrain among Mirkarimi's critics, almost an article of faith that to them needs no explanation. I understand the sentiment, but as a practical matter, it still doesn't make sense to me (I'd welcome comments that could offer insights or explanation). I've also posed that and other questions to both Gascón and his spokesperson, Stephanie Ong Stillman, and I'll include an update when I hear back.

Maybe the issue is a conflict of interest, the belief that Mirkarimi will either be too easy or too hard on domestic violence inmates or programs, which seems to be stretch. But if that's the case, Gascón should get off his high horse. Gascón was the police chief when then-Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed him as DA, and there were many voices in the community who questioned such an unconventional move, one that raised obvious questions about whether Gascón could be objective about cases of police abuse, evidence tampering, or assorted other cases in which he would be called upon to make tough judgments about the SFPD. There were calls for Gascón to wall himself off from such cases, which he refused to do, even though that was arguably a more serious and direct conflict of interest than Mirkarimi overseeing the jail.

Also, let's not forget that it was Gascón who started this whole ordeal by deciding to charge Mirkarimi with domestic violence crimes, accept the plea bargain to misdemeanor false imprisonment, and recommend the punishment that the court accepted – which included the highly unusual requirement that Mirkarimi issue a public apology to his neighbor, Ivory Madison, who went to police against the wishes of Mirkarimi's wife. At the time, Mirkarimi was serving as sheriff and overseeing all the department's functions – and he wasn't letting the batterers run free or battering them himself – and Gascón didn't raise this issue of then or make it a condition of Mirkarimi's plea, which he certainly could have.

Finally, there was this sanctimonious statement by Gascón: “As the chief law enforcement official in this City and County, I will stand unapologetically with the victims. I will work tirelessly to be sure both victims and witnesses know this city does not tolerate domestic violence.” Yet the record of his office indicates something that falls far short of tireless efforts to combat domestic violence.

As a San Francisco Public Press investigation revealed last month, San Francisco has by far the lowest rate of domestic violation prosecutions of any Bay Area jurisdiction, a terrible record that has gotten even worse since Gascón took over. Whether judged by the number of domestic violence cases filed per capita (29.5 per 10,000 residents, compared with 58.5 in the region) or the number cases it received that it declined to prosecute (it dropped 6,200 of the 8,600 cases that it received from police), Gascón has no business claiming to show zero tolerance for domestic violence. His prosecution of Mirkarimi was more aberration than rule.

We've been trying to get a comment out of the DA's Office on this issue for weeks, and they still haven't replied (Stillman told me today that “we're still working on it”). Gascón was also asked about his office's poor record on domestic violence recently on KQED's Forum and gave only a deflective non-answer. Perhaps he'd be better off figuring out how his office could so consistently fail the victims of domestic violence rather than worrying so much about the too-few of them that he's managed to send to jail.

We all understand what an emotional and important issue domestic violence is, and even how unsettling it may be to many to have Mirkarimi as sheriff. But the members of the Domestic Violence Consortium and La Casa de las Madres – those who have led the campaign to oust Mirkarimi – aren't the only people who care about this issue.

During the public comment portion of Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, there were many domestic violence victims who expressed more outrage over the failure of these domestic violence groups or the DA's office to support them than they were about Mirkarimi continuing to be the sheriff. The city just spent $1.3 million trying to remove Mirkarimi and another [[CORRECTED FIGURE: $140,000]] paying his interim replacement, Vicky Hennessy – money that could have been better spent directly responding to domestic violence than this fruitless symbolic stand.

But that's over now, just like their efforts to remove Mirkarimi, and we all need to move on instead of trying to re-fight this difficult battle over and over again. People can still disagree with what happened and vent and be angry – and from what we're hearing from City Hall, many of the messages have been quite savage, some even threatening violence. They can even work on a recall campaign or take other political actions.

Yet we all still share a city – a wonderfully diverse city with a wide range of perspectives and opinions – and we're all forced to accept things about it that we don't like. Gascón doesn't get to decide who the sheriff is or how he plays that role any more than Mirkarimi got to tell Gascón how to do his job – despite suffering far more direct impacts.

We each have our roles to play, and we'll all be better off if we do them well and accept that we live in a rainbow city, not a black-and-white world.

Comments

to press charges or testify, out of fear. That is why the DV policy in every state allows a DA to convict even if the spouse wishes to lie low.

Please research the law before you post drivel here, ChrisCraft.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 8:19 am

It doesn't matter who called the police. You don't have to be the victim, or the "presumed victim," to report a crime. Anyone can report a crime.

Also, yes, the DA represents the people of California and files criminal cases on behalf of the state, so I am not sure what point you think you are making?? My point is that it is not up to the victim (or to use your made-up language the "presumed victim") to decide if charges get filed or if they get dropped--they have zero say in the matter.

Also, I don't know, nor do I care to whom the neighbor allegedly spoke sometime between the dates December 31 and January 4, 2012? Do you? I am sure she spoke to a lot of people.

Posted by Chris on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 9:08 am

Ivory Madison never directly observed any domestic violence involving Ross and Eliana.

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

No one said she did. She was a witness to testify as to what Eliana said, and oh, there is also a freaking video with sound showing what Eliana said, but I guess that is a "problem" for you.

Posted by Chris on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

that should there ever be a divorce, she might lose her child because Ross was an important poltician and she was an emigre,without green card, from a country with a hostile relationship with the United States. Madison, the faux lawyerette, told Eliana that if she didn't make a tape about the arm grab and resultant bruise, she could be separated from her child forever. Watch the tape, eliana has never said Ross didn't bruise her arm,neither has Ross. She says she's making the tape in case there is a future custody dispute. Watch it again. Madison must have soiled her drawers when Eliana said that. She didn't make the tape because she feared any physical abuse from Ross, but rather as a future bargaining chip if Madison's predictions came true. She thought Madison's website puffery of superior"legal training" was true. She believed the tape was CONFIDENTIAL..because Madison told her it was, promised her it was. Then Madison contacted quite a number of politically prominent people to figure out how to use the tape. get it?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 8:33 am

Bruises and false imprisonment will have that effect.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 9:40 am

http://dev.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/01/mirkarimi-allegedly-told-wife-he...

"
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s wife told neighbors following an alleged New Year’s Eve domestic violence incident that the sheriff and former District 5 supervisor told her he was a “powerful” man who could take their 2-year-old son away from her, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

Lopez told the neighbor “she wasn’t sure what to do and that Ross Mirkarimi had told the victim that he was a powerful man,” the affidavit said.
"

Also Madison was a donor and fund raiser for Ross, why would she after the election scheme this all up.

Beware of chem trails.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 9:53 am

Yo le creo a Eliana.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

Unless you are afraid your spouse will do something to you, there is no need for a "bargaining chip" in a divorce.

Divorces are no-fault. You don't need a bruise, an affair, or even an unkind word. You can get a divorce for any reason. You also are legally entitled to your share of community property, and you can petition for child support, which is set by schedule. You can even ask for spousal support to get on your feet financially. Also, as long as you are a fit parent, you have the same rights to custody as the other parent. And Ross Mirkarimi "powerful?" On what planet? He is a local politician with no influence over family court.

Moreover, a green card means you are a permanent U.S. resident, it has no relevance on what settlement you get in a divorce proceeding. Also, her Venezuelan nationality is completely irrelevant, too, and not something family court would or even legally can consider. Many people residing in the U.S. have immigrated from Iran, and the U.S. has a hositle relationship with Iran, but when Iranian immigrants go to family court, the court is not concerned about international relations.

Finally, unless someone communicates they are acting as your attorney, then a mere promise to keep something "CONFIDENTIAL" (does putting it in all caps magically make it true??) is just a promise and nothing more. Even the judge in the criminal proceeding rejected Eliana's silly motion based on the assertion that her conversation with Ms. Madison was subject to attorney-client privilege. Get it?

Posted by Chris on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 10:37 am

She was new to the United States and didn't know about the laws around child custody. That's why she sought out Madison's advice. She thought Madison was a lawyer who could help her navigate U.S. laws in the event of a custody battle. At that time, she didn't have her green card and was afraid that she would be at a distinct disadvantage compared to her U.S. citizen husband. That was her testimony. Furthermore, immigrant women have had their children taken from them in some cases, so Eliana's fears were legitimate. She would have been much better off seeing a lawyer, just not Ivory Madison.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

Olague for D5, Julian..who??

Talk about throwing SFBG's Lee puppet Olague under the bus one week, to bullying her to reinstate a Wife Beater.
Doubt she'll be invited into the good ole white boy progressive club though.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 1:33 am

Now that our civic leaders seem to have finally decided to pay attention to ethical misconduct by members of the city family, I trust that they, especially the BOS, will demonstrate that their votes were principled not political, and investigate the backlog of complaints that have been ignored. In light of this recent event I suggest they should begin with allegations of possible perjury by the Mayor, and documented evidence of probable violations of election law committed during his mayoral campaign.
Speaking only for myself (but I think expressing the position of many), despite the assertions made by some to the contrary, our objection to this process was not a defense of domestic violence, it is inexcusable, or even a defense of Ross Mirkarimi personally. It was an objection to abuse of political power and the dangerous precedent that would have been set. Hopefully the legislation will be revisited and clarified so that such a situation will not recur. The practice of selective law enforcement has a long and murky history in this city and, whatever our political persuasion may be, it is essential for the common good that we do all we can to oppose and prevent the opportunities for such corruption to continue unabated.
Just my thruppence.
GO GIANTS.
YES ON 37.
NO ON 32.
Overturn Citizens United.

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 9:53 am

even if it is under Pat Monk's moniker.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 3:55 pm
DUH

You really don't have a clue do you, but I appreciate the comparison.

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 8:32 am

Following the vote by the BofS, David Campos said this:

“I think it’s important that no matter how we feel about this that we come together as a city,” Campos said. “

Ha! Wishful-thinking. Not about to happen. RM's opponents want him out and will make his life hell until he's gone. It looks like that piece of work Gascón has already started. I knew from the moment he came here he had a conservative agenda. As memory serves, he was a registered Republican until he came here.

google sfbg: george gascon longtime republican

(The spam filter blocked the BG's own link. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz).

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

he moved to reconstitute the disbanded and discredited "intelligence" unit at the SFPD that had been caught *SPYING* on San Franciscans on behalf of foreign powers.

Is there just maybe a little bit of radical Zionist chauvinism behind the attack on Ross Mirkarimi, who has some Iranian ethnicity?

https://www.aclunc.org/issues/government_surveillance/asset_upload_file8...

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

Sweetheart, George Gascon is Cuban-American and he is not Jewish.

I am not sure what "Zionist" conspiracy you think is going on, but I am glad you have at least revealed your anti-Semite roots, but Mr. Gascon is not part of it.

Also, Mr. Mirkarimi is only half-Persian and he never had much of a relationship with his Persian father. Do you really think that people go around tracking down anyone with a hint of Persian ethnicity?

Again, you are crazy, enough said--get help.

Posted by Chris on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

Apparently the Cuban-American community are now part of it. And clearly Mirkarimi is one valuable intelligence asset because of his close ties to the Iranian mullahs in Tehran, obtained through his cunning Chavezista wife - who has been instrumental in building the alliance between Iran and Venezuela and who is now based in the center of the American empire - San Francisco, carrying out her nefarious work from within the nerve center of San Francisco city government - the sheriff's office!! Now it all makes sense!!

lilli said it so I believe it!

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

"And clearly Mirkarimi is one valuable intelligence asset because of his close ties to the Iranian mullahs in Tehran, obtained through his cunning Chavezista wife - who has been instrumental in building the alliance between Iran and Venezuela"

By Jove, Troll II has figured it out!

The thing that most terrifies the Zionists and the Cointelpro wing of the American government is a strong military alliance between the two most Progressive countries on the planet - Iran and Venezuela - with Iranian nuclear missiles in Venezuela guaranteeing the safety of both the Iranian Revolution and the Bolivarian Revolution against the fascist U.S.A.

The relationship between Ross and Eliana was a very visible and tangible symbol of this incipient alliance, and the decision was made at the highest levels in Jerusalem and Washington to frame Ross, in order to derail the forthcoming agreements between Teheran and Caracas.

Eliana didn't know the half of it - she said the story “is much more complicated than it appears, and there are powerful forces behind this [Ross' persecution]”, but only blamed it on “the richest people in California".

Eliana, the conspiracy against Ross goes much, much, higher than just a few evil Californian billionaires.

And Troll II, you had better start watching out for The Men In Black.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

He's unmasked a very serious & dark conspiracy - emanating from foreign lands. We all owe him a major debt of gratitude.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

A-mazing.

Let's never mind that Ross himself is half-Jewish, ok? That just doesn't fit into the paranoia of Lillitard.

Lilli, don't quit doing what you're doing. Everyday you take it down another notch and I am loving it. Your 45 hour work weeks here on the SFBG message board matter, don't let anyone tell you different. Continue to pursue the Zionists-behind-Rossgate thing, it's super effective.

Posted by Scram on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

But he really should get a job.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 9:50 am

Lil, you post a link to the Jerusalem Post? What does that have to do with a supposed Zionist conspiracy against Mr. Mikarimi or my alleged "pontificatory demeanor" (and it is really a laugh for you to call someone else "pontificatory.")

Also, opposition is only meaningful if it is based on something credible. All you have done is thrown out baseless accusations and cooked up wild imaginery schemes--again, all in an attempt to create drama and excitement.

Unfortunately, your link is about as meaningful as posting a link to the Onion magazine.

The only conspiracy going on is in your head. But, I know you are not well, so I cannot fault you too much for it. Get help, get well, and good luck.

Posted by Chris on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 10:44 am

but that isn't saying much, is it.

As for the severe limitations of your moral character, that is well established by the depths to which you readily sink when confronted by challenges you aren't willing to face head-on: witness your joining the other trolls in mischaracterizing my statment.

There is a large degree of bigotry which is self-evident here. Nobody would hesitate to refer to radical Islam nowadays, but a reference to radical Zionism is met by mock horror and mendacity. Shame on you for your celebration of this intellectual bankruptcy.

I stand by every word, every statement, that I have made here.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 11:54 am

"Is there just maybe a little bit of radical Zionist chauvinism behind the attack on Ross Mirkarimi, who has some Iranian ethnicity?"

Lilli has finally nailed it. The attack on Ross is being coordinated by the Mossad, with the assistance of the Bilderbergers and the Trilateral Commission. Dick Cheney is probably personally involved as well.

Ivory Madison is the best deep-cover agent the Mossad has ever had!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 6:07 am

"Is there just maybe a little bit of radical Zionist chauvinism behind the attack on Ross Mirkarimi, who has some Iranian ethnicity?"

Lilli has finally figured it out - the Mossad is behind all this!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 6:12 am

not at Persians...but at Arabs. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't know the difference, however.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 8:40 am

but let me just state unequivocally that I'm glad that should (!) the occasion arise for another protest against an imperialistic and religiosity-fevered attack in the Mid East -- say on Iran -- that I'm *glad* the sheriff will be someone I don't expect will administer extra-judicial punishment to the protesters as has happened elsewhere on more than one occasion.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 8:00 am

"I scarcely want to validate the above by answering it directly,
but let me just state unequivocally that I'm glad that should (!) the occasion arise for another protest against an imperialistic and religiosity-fevered attack in the Mid East -- say on Iran -- that I'm *glad* the sheriff will be someone I don't expect will administer extra-judicial punishment to the protesters as has happened elsewhere on more than one occasion."

So, the "extra-judicial punishment" previously administered to the protestors was at the direction of the Zionists?

You really believe that?

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 8:09 am

in order to devalue it; a common technique practiced among denizens of SFGate.

I disassociate myself from your trollish and wholly-false caricaturization and stand only behind my statements.

I used the term "Radical Zionism" very specifically, and the troll technique used in response reflects the same mendacious tendency that would conflate Islam with radical Islam, or Christians with Planned Parenthood clinic bombers.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 8:38 am

Either cop to it or have the sense to shut up.

When you're in a hole, quit digging.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 9:42 am

While you and your ilk are waiting for that to happen, you can take personally some impliedly desirable action by taking ownership of all your future lies: start posting them under a unique name.

Or you could just stfu.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/S-F-Chief-George-Gasc-n-apologizes-to...

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 11:45 am

None of the protganosists are even remotely Jewish, let alone Zionist.

Will you ever learn to censor your thoughts?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 9:49 am

"None of the protganosists are even remotely Jewish, let alone Zionist."

Not true!

Mirk's mother is Jewish, which makes Mirk Jewish under Jewish religious law.

He could emigrate to Israel under the Law of Return, if he so chose.

No wonder the "Radical Zionists" have him targeted!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 10:19 am

Season Two of the Mirk Panty drama gets underway today, as Eliana returns to her homeland, according to Matier & Ross.

Will she ever return to her other homeland? Stay tuned...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 9:31 am

What a difference 10.5 months make. Oh, and a judicious video that rendered Ross a neutered "powerful" man.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 9:40 am

going to make another movie and more support for her family?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

Eliana 1
Ross 0

Looks like she played this one almost perfectly - she's triumphed over Ross, they keep his paycheck (with back pay!), and she's gotten enough publicity to restart her moribund acting career in Venezuela.

She is truly “I’m not the little Indian girl victim of the gringo", as she put it.

She's a winner, not a victim like a "little Indian girl"!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 10:26 am

has to give up her career because she married an American? really?
How antedeluvian of you! How un-feminist of you! so funny

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

"So it's your view that an internationally successful actress has to give up her career"

LOL. Her "internationally successful" acting career didn't seem to be going anywhere lately, but it seems that she has generated enough publicity in Venezuela to perhaps restart it.

Funny, at the Stand With Ross rally, they didn't mention that Eliana was planning on going back to Venezuela less than a week after the BOS vote.

There is a certain sense of closure here, however. This whole dispute began because Eliana wanted to take Theo to Venezuela, and Ross objected. Now Eliana is going to Venezuela with Theo, and Ross dare not object.

Game, set, and match to Eliana.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

Eliana Lopez is not. Let's keep this in perspective.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 15, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

on SFBG.com. Kudos to the site owners for maintaining free expression in the face of such abuses.

As for the Lopez family, best wishes to them during these most difficult times.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

""according to M_____ and R_____." Huh. You can say anything
on SFBG.com."

So Eliana and Theo aren't leaving for Venezuela today?

BTW lilli, you said:

"Yes. Remember in the *first* week of his tenure as COP,
he [Gascón] moved to reconstitute the disbanded and discredited "intelligence" unit at the SFPD that had been caught *SPYING* on San Franciscans on behalf of foreign powers."

Which "foreign powers" did you have in mind, lilli? Was it Canada and New Zealand, or were you thinking of other "foreign powers"? Actually, were you thinking of multiple "foreign powers", or is there only one "foreign power" that the "intelligence" unit at the SFPD has been spying for?

Help me out here - I can't imagine which "foreign power" you have in mind...

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

For additional info, you could Google "Tom Gerard" "SFPD", but I suppose that you make you more than a troll-dimwit.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

Lilli, it's a simple question.

You stated that "the disbanded and discredited "intelligence" unit at the SFPD that had been caught *SPYING* on San Franciscans on behalf of foreign powers."

Real simple:

Name the foreign powers that the intelligence unit at the SFPD had been spying on behalf of.

It's a real simple question, with a real simple answer.

You obviously **know** the answer - why the sudden attack of shyness in revealing it?

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

piece of crap such as yourself to admit. I posted the links. I'm not sure what duplicitous tack you'd take if I gave you what you ask for, and I don't need to know.

I've posted several useful links. At the time of this posting, they are all on this page:

http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2012/10/11/gasc%C3%B3ns-challenge-mirkarimi...

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

A name, Lilli, a name.

Which "foreign power or powers" were the SFPD spying for?

Here are some examples of possible acceptable responses:

"Belgium"

"Finland"

"The Central African Republic"

"Moldova"

"Andorra"

"Singapore"

Come on - what nation-state was the SFPD spying for?

Don't leave me on tenterhooks!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

Season 2:
Eliana, her plot in conjunction with the evil neighbor Madison woman to stage a fake DV ploy and return to Venezuela w/Ross's full permission having proved successful...

...now plots his assasination from abroad. Meanwhile, its back to PantyLand for the refurbished Sheriff.

Starts tonight at 8!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

nor the least bit true. It shows really poor taste to talk about someone plotting someone else's assasination, even as a joke.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 1:17 pm