Move on, Mr. Mayor

Ross Mirkarimi's the sheriff, and you have to work with him

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EDITORIAL San Francisco politics hasn't been this tense in years — and it's not just because of the upcoming election. The battle over Mayor Lee's attempt to oust Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has left bitter divisions at City Hall and in communities all over town. And the mayor is only making things worse.

In an odd way — and we say odd because it was so expensive and a misuse of mayoral power — the system worked. Mirkarimi, who had a physical altercation with his wife that left a bruise on her arm, took responsibility and pled guilty to a misdemeanor; he's now on probation and undergoing counseling.

After the mayor decided to invoke a rarely used Charter provision and suspend Mirkarimi without pay, the Ethics Commission held hearings, conducted and extensive inquiry and voted to uphold the charges, with the chair, Benjamin Hur, strongly dissenting. Every one of the commissioners raised thoughtful points; several poked big holes in the mayor's case.

Then the Board of Supervisors met — and again, the members carefully considered Mirkarimi's actions, the language and history of the City Charter, the prevailing law, and the facts of the case. There was remarkably little political grandstanding; we listened to the entire meeting, lasting more than seven hours, and were left with the impression that the supervisors took their job seriously, weighed the case, forced the City Attorney's Office, representing the mayor, and Mirkarimi's defense team, to justify their arguments, and rendered a ruling.

Nine votes were needed to remove the sheriff; that's appropriate for such a profound sanction. Only seven supervisors sided with the mayor, and the four who rejected the charges had excellent, well-stated and credible reasons.

That's the way the Charter outlined this process playing out, and in the end, the mayor lacked the overwhelming consensus he would have needed to use his executive authority to remove from office someone duly chosen by the voters. It's done; it's over. Most of the city would like to move on.

That's not to say that Mirkarimi should be celebrating. He did an inexcusable thing. Domestic violence advocates have every right to be unhappy with his actions — and nobody, nobody in town should condone his behavior. He's not denying it, either; he accepted the criminal consequences and will now have to demonstrate that he's able to do his job.

But the mayor won't move on. Mirkarimi sent him a note asking for a meeting, and Lee hasn't responded. That shows a lack of leadership — and a lack of the civility that the mayor promised us when he took office. Ed Lee started this political process, and now that it's over, he should be leading the effort to pull the city back together, to recognize that there were valid arguments on both sides of this case and his didn't prevail — and to stop the demonization of people who didn't agree with him.

Comments

Mirkarimi runs to the press crying like a little tattle tale, "the major won't talk to me". Not sure if I knew a college of mine had abused his wife that I would work well with him.
Do us a favor and stop reporting this nonsense and it may resolve itself sooner, your not helping,

Posted by Chris Pratt on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 8:15 am

You don't demand to speak to your boss - your boss demands to speak to you.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 10:46 am

Does that suggest to you that Lee is Ross' boss?

Hmmm... just remember all that troll-talk about "Boss Ross".... Lee seems to be playing the part of the big bad boss. Funny how the truth always seems to mock rhetoric.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 11:16 am

And that's why even he should agree to a recall. He deserves the chance to make clear that city voters support him as sheriff and as the progressive standard-bearer. Do not take that away from him. A recall can emphatically underline what progressives have been saying for a year now - the sheriff is more popular than the mayor, has broader and deeper support and deserves to stay in his office. Think of what he could do win he wins that recall - he'd be positioned to take Lee down in the next election.

Support Ross - Support a Recall.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 11:40 am

How does a college abuse, besides charging too much tuition?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

Mirkarimi runs crying to the press like a tattle tale, saying "The Mayor won't talk to me". If I worked with someone I knew abused his wife I may not be so friendly too.

If you want this to move forward may be stop writing editorials that drive a wedge between each side.

Posted by Chris Pratt on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 8:27 am

To "keep this out of the press" maybe another rapprochment could have been done according to Ed Lee's preferred method of contact...the Sheriff could have used back channels and contacted Walter Wong (is he still in China? whats he doing there...dont things in city hall need "FIXING") and sent his invitation to resolve (resolve what?) the impasse or is Ed sulking or is it a"male change of life issue" that is bugging his Royal Corruptness.

Posted by learned guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

"and to stop the demonization of people who didn't agree with him"

Except when it has to do with demonizing the unrestrained sexuality of the black male and its threat to white women, in that case, demonize all the way.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 8:34 am

In fact, Mayor Lee *did* respond to Mirkarimi's magnanimous overture. Through his spokesperson, Lee replied that he "does not want to comment on the letter," but that "he is not moving on."

Wrong also on your continued respect for the deranged analysis of the city charter which was put into play in order to facilitate this charade.

What's going on over there? Are you all right?

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 9:34 am

I also agree this editorial "misrepresents" the work of the Ethics Com. the three attorneys deciding to vote with the mayor used "false legal argument" to manipulate the Charter Amendment and make it fit the situation. The total lack of "legal merit" in the decision by the 3 attorneys of Ethics was akin to using the Sheriff as a "human sacrifice" to the gods of the political machine. These 3 attorneys and the 2 or 3 attorneys representing Ed Lee all abused their duties and responsibilities as attorneys to not present "false legal argument" nor to use "artifice" in presentation of a case to a "tribunal".

Posted by learned guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

On June 29, 2012, when Mayor Edwin Lee was under oath, he was asked by Attorney Shepard Kopp the following question:

"If these removal proceedings do not result in the removal of Sheriff Mirkarimi, of course, you will put aside your feelings and do what is best for the city and work with him, right?"

Mayor Ed Lee:
"Yes."

Anyone seeking to verify the quote can see it toward the end of the June 29 Ethics Commission hearing. The question was asked of the Mayor during a brief re-direct by Shepard Kopp.

Posted by Erika McDonald on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 11:27 am

What's best for the city is a zero tolerance for domestic violence.
Unless...you are a domestic violence apologist and supporter, which makes you very progressive.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:32 am

If arm grabbing and minivan turning around are now crimes, then you'd best be prepared to fork over hundreds of millions of dollars to build more jail cells to house the new criminal class that you've created.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 9:00 am

That surprises you because . . . ?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 9:35 am

Really? Turning a minivan around due to an argument is now kidnapping? Wouldn't continuing onto the restaurant in violation of one partner's will also be kidnapping?

There was no violence in this case. The courts concluded that. It was a personal, private family matter after all.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 10:03 am

convicted Ross if a violent crime. And Ross apologized for categorizing it in that way.

False imprisonment is very scary because at that exact point you lose your freedom and you do not know what else the crazy person is going to do. All you know is that he is a "powerful man" and that you are trapped, and that he is screaming and yelling, and that he has bruised you before.

What else could he do? It's the fear factor that makes it so bad, and in fact some DV perps are charged under terror laws.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 10:22 am

Misdemeanor false arrest is by definition not a violent crime. You are wrong on that score and that means that you are wrong on everything else.

Ross said what a politician had to say. There was no DV, it was a private matter that the family ended up resolving to their satisfaction before any state mandated counseling had commenced much less completed.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 10:31 am

Ross continues to attend the mandatory, court-ordered DV counseling.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 10:44 am

anything else Lee has said. You really need to give up on this slur campaign because you are not even close to being good enough to get away with it.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:50 am

Since Eliana Lopez has forgiven Ross, evidently you are fucking wrong on that too.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 11:38 am

Seems only yesterday the SFBG broke up with Davis to jump the Olague (yes on DV) bandwagon.
Now what's up with all the Julian Davis for Supervisor links again?
Guess too much pressure of blatant hypocrisy run amok, progs against DV progs.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:28 am