Deputy sheriffs say morale suffering from Mirkarimi plea 

click to enlarge The head of the deputies union says the Mirkarimi case has affected departmental morale. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • The head of the deputies union says the Mirkarimi case has affected departmental morale.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s confession of guilt to false imprisonment charges has affected the mood of the deputy sheriffs who work for him, the head of the 800-member San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association said Monday.

“We’re very disappointed when a law enforcement official pleads guilty to a crime,” said Don Wilson, president of the Deputy Sheriffs' Association. “We took an oath of office to uphold the law. The morale in the department has been affected.”

Wilson would not comment on whether Mayor Ed Lee should suspend Mirkarimi and initiate removal proceedings. “We’re focused on our job,” he said. “We’re not going to get involved with the politics of everything.”

Until Monday, following Mirkarimi’s sentencing, the union had remained mum on the serious charges facing its boss since the alleged domestic violence incident involving him and his wife came to light on Jan. 6. Mirkarimi was sworn into the post on Jan. 8.

Following Mirkarimi’s sentencing on one charge of falsely imprisoning his wife, Eliana Lopez, Mirkarimi read a prepared statement to the group of reporters outside of the court room of the Hall of Justice, which his employees protect.

“While this nightmare began before I was sheriff, I want you to know that our department — one of the finest public safety agencies in the nation — has been running right and well amid my personal strife,” Mirkarimi said. “I thank the incredible women and men of the department for their professionalism and ongoing dedication to excellence.”

While his future as sheriff remains uncertain amid a possible suspension by Lee, Mirkarimi promised to work on improving himself. “For me, there is a deeper understanding which comes from being sheriff and taking steps to become a better person.”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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