Suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi wants his former colleagues to be protected from an election-season political bombshell as the Board of Supervisors prepares to decide the future of the embattled official next month.
Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment related to his wife, Eliana Lopez, in March, after which he was suspended without pay by Mayor Ed Lee on charges of official misconduct. In a 4-1 vote last month,
The City’s Ethics Commission upheld two of the mayor’s six charges of official misconduct.
For the sheriff-in-limbo to be removed permanently, nine of 11 supervisors will have to uphold the charges. But now Mirkarimi’s attorneys will make a plea to the Ethics Commission to delay the process until after the Nov. 6 election, in which five supervisors are facing voter scrutiny.
“Sending this case to the board prior to the election is tantamount to telling a judge or jury that how they determine the outcome of a case will decide whether or not they get to keep their jobs,” his attorneys argued in a written brief to the commission, which is expected to take up the issue this afternoon at City Hall.
The City Attorney’s Office, which has argued the case on behalf of the mayor, responded that the official misconduct proceedings are not subject to political schedules.
“The Charter establishes a clear process for official misconduct proceedings, and there is simply no provision to delay that process until the political climate is supposedly more favorable to one side or the other,” City Attorney’s Office spokesman Matt Dorsey said in a statement.
The mayor has repeatedly called on Mirkarimi to cease his “sustained campaign” to “misdirect” the facts of the case, but the suspended sheriff has been relentless in his public outreach. He spoke publicly at the San Francisco Library’s main branch Monday night to make his case.
“Whenever Ed Lee and others insist this is not about politics,” Mirkarimi said, “why do they not ask for this to be heard after the election?”