Time to close the book, turn off the lights on the Best Soap Opera in San Francisco “The Sheriff and the Soap Star“. After a year of international coverage, with more twist and turns than Lombard Street we have reached the end, or have we?
Last year former San Francisco Board of Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi was elected as San Francisco’s Sheriff. On New Years Eve, before he was sworn in as Sheriff, he and his wife Venezuelan soap opera star Eliana Lopez was involved in nasty argument where Mirkarimi grabbed and bruised Lopez’s arm. Lopez turned to a neighbor who later contacted police after videotaping Lopez’s tearful account of the incident.
Eliana Lopez stood my her husband telling reporters there was a conspiracy out to get her husband.
In March, Ross Mirkarimi plead guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment charges and was sentenced to three years of probation. He is going to court ordered counseling and parenting classes. After he was sentenced the mayor suspended him without pay and took steps to remove Mirkarimi from office, a first for the city.
Last August the cities Ethics Commission voted 4-1 that Mirkarimi committed official misconduct, setting the final stage. To remove the Sheriff the mayor needed 9 votes from the 11 member San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The final vote was 7-4 an embarrassment to the mayor.
After the vote, Mirkarimi said, the ordeal has been both incredibly agonizing and humbling. He said he plan to mend fences within the city and anti-domestic violence advocates . On Monday, he will return to his position.
The Wrath of Mayor Lee Part 1
The consensus of the four supervisors, they agree domestic violence is a serious matter,they felt Mirkarimis’ behavior was not official misconduct under the city’s charter. They also thought that his removal could make it too easy to oust other duly elected officials in the future.
Lee lambasted the four supervisors – all progressives like Mirkarimi – whose votes blocked his ouster, “I believe they sought out an excuse for an inexcusable act that was confirmed by the criminal courts,” the mayor told reporters.
Domestic violence has been a bulwark, a very strong principally held policy for this city that we do not tolerate,” said the mayor.
Mayor Lee told reporters, Mirkarimis return to office tarnishes the city’s nationally recognized programs designed to combat domestic violence.
The Final Chapter?
Across the state, Tuesday’s night decision is galvanizing those in the domestic violence community, who are trying to figure out what action to take next. They point out the irony that Mirkarimi retained his job during domestic violence awareness month. Anti-domestic violence groups, which had called for Mirkarimi to step aside, were angered by the vote Tuesday.
The San Francisco Chronicle is clearly not a fan of the Sheriff ,the newspaper has written several damming reports calling for his ouster. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said he had grave concerns about Ross Mirkarimi’s ability to manage the Sheriff’s Department. “What I will not accept is any compromise of public safety as a result of his reinstatement… I am calling upon Ross to recuse himself from the duties in his office that relates to the custody,supervision, safety and rehabilitation of domestic violence offenders”
The final chapter, the city has spent well over a million dollars on this soap opera. As the dust settles, will the Mayor and District Attorney accept the desion made by the Board of Supervisors? Will the Chronicle move on to other issues in the city? or will they join forces with the city’s domestic violence advocates and seek a recall ?
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