Mirkarimi’s attorney calls domestic violence case ‘flimsy’ 

click to enlarge At a news conference following his inauguration as sheriff on Sunday, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s wife Eliana Lopez told reporters the New Year’s weekend incident was “completely taken out of context,” and Mirkarimi said he had never physically or verbally abused her. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE SF EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The SF Examiner
  • At a news conference following his inauguration as sheriff on Sunday, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s wife Eliana Lopez told reporters the New Year’s weekend incident was “completely taken out of context,” and Mirkarimi said he had never physically or verbally abused her.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s attorney said Monday he has been in touch with San Francisco police and prosecutors regarding Mirkarimi’s recent investigation for alleged domestic violence against his wife, but maintained the case was “flimsy.”

At a news conference following his inauguration as sheriff on Sunday, Mirkarimi’s wife Eliana Lopez told reporters the New Year’s weekend incident was “completely taken out of context,” and Mirkarimi said he had never physically or verbally abused her.

“I think it’s pretty flimsy in terms of what they’ve got, and I don’t think that they’ll pursue it,” Mirkarimi’s attorney Bob Waggener said of the case, which the District Attorney’s Office is still weighing whether to charge. Waggener said he’d been “in pretty consistent contact” with police and prosecutors, and gave them credit for deliberating thoroughly about the case.



Waggener said at “worst,” prosecutors could decide to file misdemeanor charges, and then he and his client would work out the details of his surrender to police.

Mirkarimi, the former member of the Board of Supervisors who won the election for sheriff in November, is being investigated over a New Year’s Eve incident in which Lopez reportedly sustained a bruise on her arm. Lopez described the incident to a female neighbor, who documented the injury on a video camera, discussed the incident with Lopez on text messages, and later called police, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by The San Francisco Examiner.

The neighbor, Ivory Madison, helped host a fundraiser in October for Mirkarimi’s campaign for sheriff, according to an online posting.

A felony conviction would -- under state law -- result in Mirkarimi’s removal as sheriff. A misdemeanor conviction would likely not, sources said.

Penalties for a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, however, include up to a year in county jail, three years’ probation, 52 weeks of domestic violence classes, a $400 fine payable to the state domestic violence fund, community service, and a possible stay-away order from the victim for up to 10 years, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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