New SF sheriff gets new lawyer to fight claims 

San Francisco's newly elected sheriff has hired a new attorney to defend him against three misdemeanor charges related to a New Year's Eve domestic violence incident with his wife.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi (meer-kah-REEM'-ee) retained Berkeley defense attorney Lidia Stiglich on Wednesday.

He previously had been represented by San Francisco lawyer Robert Waggener, and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a hearing on a judge's order to stay away from his wife and their 2-year-old son, Theo.

Mirkarimi is poised to go to trial on Feb. 24 on charges that he bruised the right arm of his wife, former Venezuelan telenovela star Eliana Lopez. He pleaded not guilty last week to charges of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.

The 50-year-old has vowed to remain in office and fight the charges.

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