Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi will fight any criminal domestic violence charges and will not resign his elected position, a spokesman told The San Francisco Examiner on Friday.
Mirkarimi is being requested by the San Francisco Police Department to surrender immediately, according to law enforcement officials.
Mirkarimi is expected to face three misdemeanors, including battery, over a domestic dispute, Jim Stearns, Mirkarimi’s campaign manager, confirmed. Mirkarimi is expected to face one count each of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.
“He’s going to fight it,” Stearns said. “And he’s not going to leave office, and he plans to be exonerated.”
On Friday afternoon, Stearns said they have requested that Mirkarimi be booked and processed inside of the sheriff's office in City Hall.
Domestic violence groups on Thursday called for Mirkarimi, who was sworn in as sheriff Jan. 7 before a public ceremony, to step down amid an investigation into allegations Mirkarimi may have abused his wife.
The charges stem from a New Year’s Eve incident reported to police by a female neighbor of Mirkarimi, Ivory Madison, who said Lopez spoke to her about it the following day, according to a Police Department search warrant affidavit obtained last week by The San Francisco Examiner.
Madison came forward to police three days later, saying Lopez had told her she had been a victim of domestic violence but had been “hesitant to report the incident to the police due to Mr. Mirkarimi’s position in San Francisco government.” Lopez had a bruise on her upper right arm from where Mirkarimi had grabbed her, Madison told police.
The injury was reportedly recorded on Madison’s video camera, which police have seized, along with Madison’s cell phone, which police said contained text messages between the two women about the incident.
Mirkarimi’s attorney Bob Waggener earlier this week called the case against his client “flimsy.”
Following his public inauguration as sheriff Sunday, Mirkarimi denied to reporters that he had ever physically or verbally abused his wife, calling the New Year’s Eve incident “a private manner, a family matter.”
“I trust in the system, and we have to let the system sort this out,” Mirkarimi said at the time. But he also intimated that “there are forces at work that want to stop me from becoming sheriff.”
Lopez told reporters that day that the incident was “completely taken out of context.”
“I don’t have any complaint against my husband,” she said.
Mirkarimi and Lopez, who met in Brazil, live together in the Western Addition and have a 2-year-old son. Lopez is a former Venezuelan soap opera star.
Mirkarimi, who has lived in The City more than 25 years, was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2004. His district covered neighborhoods that include the Western Addition, Hayes Valley, the North Panhandle, Lower Pacific Heights and the Inner Sunset. He was re-elected in 2008 as supervisor.
A former Green Party leader turned Democrat, Mirkarimi also graduated from the San Francisco police academy and served as an investigator in the District Attorney’s Office. He is considered one of The City’s most prominent politically progressive voices.
In November, Mirkarimi won a close election with 38 percent of the vote, narrowly beating former undersheriff and police union president Chris Cunnie, as well as sheriff’s Capt. Paul Miyamoto. He succeeded former Sheriff Mike Hennessey, who retired after 32 years and had endorsed Mirkarimi in the election.