Supervisors reinstate Mirkarimi, rejecting Lee's interpretation of official misconduct

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Ross Mirkarimi, wife Eliana Lopez, and their son during a rally before the historic hearing.
Luke Thomas

The Board of Supervisors has voted to reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and reject the official misconduct charges that Mayor Ed Lee brought against Mirkarimi for grabbing and bruising his wife’s arm during a New Year’s Eve argument, for now ending an ugly saga that has polarized San Franciscans.

The vote was 7-4, two votes shy of the nine needing to sustain the charges and remove Mirkarimi, who now resumes the position voters elected him to in November with back pay going back to March when Lee suspended him. Sups. Christina Olague, David Campos, John Avalos, and Jane Kim voted in Mirkarimi’s favor, condemning the domestic violence incident but saying the it didn’t meet what is and should be a high and clear standard for overruling the will of voters, a concern also voiced by Sup. Mark Farrell. 

“I do take this job seriously, that we are public policy makers,” said Kim, a lawyer who emphasized their duty to set clear standards for officials during these unprecedented proceedings rather than being swayed by emotional responses to conduct by Mirkarimi that she called “incredibly egregious.”

But for most of the supervisors, that was enough. Sup. Eric Mar, who is in the middle of difficult reelection campaign against the more conservative and well-financed David Lee, said he thought is was important to have “zero tolerance” for domestic violence and his vote was “in the service of justice and a belief it will combat domestic violence.”

Earlier in the hearing, Kim had led the questioning of Deputy City Attorney Sherri Kaiser, whose broad interpretation of official misconduct standards and inability to set clear guidelines troubled Kim, just as it had earlier to Ethics Commission Chair Benedict Hur, the sole vote on that body against removal after it conducted six months worth of hearings.

“I agree with Chairman Hur, I think we need to take the most narrow view of official misconduct,” Kim said, echoing a point that had also been made by Campos, who quoted Hur’s comment from the Aug. 16 hearing where the commission voted 4-1 to recommend removal: “I have a lot of concern about where you draw the line if you don’t relate this to official duties.”

Farrell also shared that concern, which he raised in questioning Kaiser and during the final board deliberations almost seven grueling hours later. 

“I worry a great deal about the potential for abuse in this charter section,” Farrell said, warning this and future mayors to use great caution and restraint before bringing official misconduct charges. Yet he still found that the “totality of the circumstances” warranted removal because Mirkarimi had compromised his ability to be the top law enforcement officer.

Each supervisor expressed what a difficult and joyless decision this was, and even those who supported Mirkarimi strongly condemned his actions and the efforts by some of his supporters to minimize the seriousness of his actions and the need for him to change.

“I have tremendous mixed feelings about Ross Mirkarimi,” Avalos said, noting his many proud progressive accomplishments but adding, “I’ve always seen Ross as someone who has deep flaws….[This saga] offers a chance for personal transformation and I think that’s something Ross really needs to do.”

Mirkarimi seems humbled by the hearing, and the stinging criticism of his former colleagues and his one-time allies in the domestic violence community, and he pledged to work on “regaining their trust” as he tries to embody the city’s long-held value on redemption.

“I appreciate all the comments of by the Board of Supervisors and I hear the message. The next step is mending fences and moving forward,” Mirkarimi said. Later, he told reporters, “We’re absorbing all the comments that were made by the Board of Supervisors. They are my former colleagues and I take it very seriously.”

That need to heal the deep and emotional divide between San Franciscans who see this case in starkly different ways – which was on vivid display during the hours of public testimony – was sounded by several supervisors. “We will need to come together as a city on this,” Board President David Chiu said.

Most of those who spoke during the nearly four hours in public comments favored Mirkarimi and condemned the efforts to remove him as politically motivated, overly judgmental, and setting a dangerous precedent rather than resorting to usual method for removing politicians after a scandal: recall elections.

"If anything happens to the man, it should come back to me to make that decision. Don't do their dirty work for them," one commenter said.

The most politically significant person to speak during public comment was former Mayor Art Agnos, who said he was a friend and supporter of Mirkarimi, but he was more concerned with the scary implications of this decision. "I respectfully urge that this Board protect all elected officials from the dangerous discretion used in this case and reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi."

Most of those who spoke against Mirkarimi were domestic violence advocates, who were adamant that Mirkarimi be removed, casting it as a litmus test for whether the city takes their issue seriously. "This is a disciplinary proceeding, it is not election stealing," said Beverly Upton, head of the Domestic Violence Consortium, who has lead the campaign to oust Mirkarimi since the incident was made public.

But the two sides seemed to be speaking past one another, each expressing righteous indignation that people didn't see the issue like they did, indicating how polarizing these long-lingering proceedings have become and how difficult to heal that rift may be.

“It made my stomach turn to hear some of the comments that were made,” Sup. Carmen Chu said, condemning the actions of Mirkarimi supporters in vocally or visibly supporting one another. “That was wrong, this is not a joyous event.”

Yet Farrell said he was also concerned that Mirkarimi’s opponents would go after supervisors who made a principled stand against removing him. “I hope no one takes pot shots at the people who voted against this,” he said.

That principled stand – condemning Mirkarimi’s behavior but having a high standard for removing an elected official – was a trail blazed by Hur, who opened the hearing by presenting the Ethics Commission’s findings and a decision that he was the sole vote against. He noted the "challenge of my presentation" but made careful efforts to accurately represent the views of the commission majority.

Yet he ended up using almost half of his time at the podium -- his allotted 10 minutes plus a few extra minutes to respond to questions from supervisors -- to stress the danger of broadly interpreting the city's official misconduct language and not requiring direct connection to an official's duties.

"Public policy suggests we should interpret this more narrowly than proposed by the majority," Hur said, later adding that his colleagues on the commission "did not provide a clear basis for how official misconduct is delineated."

When Sup. Malia Cohen asked what he meant by the "public policy" interest at stake here, he replied, "The need to have policies that are clear...It does benefit the public when the laws are clear." (Cohen later voted to remove Mirkarimi, stating with little explanation, “I believe the reading of the charter is narrow and appropriately applied in this case.”)

The issue of what qualifies as official misconduct -- and whether there is a predictable way for officials to know where that line is drawn, or whether it's entirely up to the discretion of mayors -- was also highlighted by Kaiser’s long presentation, but probably not in the way she intended.

Kaiser appealed to people's sense of outrage about the initial arm-grab and subsequent guilty plea -- claiming Mirkarimi "attacked his wife" and "this conduct was serious!" -- and seemed to think that was an adequate test of whether bad behavior by an elected official warrants his unilateral removal from office.

Kaiser took issue with Hur's contention that a lack of clear, limiting standards gives too much power to future mayors to remove their political enemies for minor incidents.

"The mayor certainly does not agree with Hur's argument for a bright line rule," Kaiser said. She mocked the notion that mayors would abuse this expanded power. "The check on that is the Ethics Commission, and the check on that is this body." Kaiser's position was that the statute should be read as broadly as possible and that the process should be trusted to protect against political manipulations.

But Chiu also took issue with that standard, saying "having clarity in the law seems to make sense" and asking Kaiser how officials can know what standards they're expected to meet.

"I don't agree and I didn't mean to convey the standard is murky," Kaiser replied, but as she tried to elaborate, her standard began to seem ever murkier.

"It depends on the circumstance," Kaiser said. "But that doesn't make it too vague to apply. It makes it more nimble."

A nimble standard might suit mayors just fine, but the idea seemed to bother the supervisors, even Farrell, who told Kaiser that her position "seems to me very contradictory."

At the end of the hearing, Campos returned to Kaiser’s “nimble” comment as a reason for rejecting that argument and Lee’s charges: “I don’t think the analysis made me comfort. She said the interpretation was nimble, but I don’t know the difference between nimble and vague, and I think they are one in the same.”

"Most cases will be clear, but there are decisions on the periphery," Kaiser told Farrell during the earlier questioning, not making it clear which category she'd put the Mirkarimi case into.

Kim was the next to try to pin Kaiser down on whether there's a discernible standard for the city to apply to this and future cases, saying she'd like to see a "bright line rule or a test." Kaiser said that it depends on the office, but that a law enforcement officer shouldn't commit a crime.

"Then any misdemeanor the sheriff pleads to is official misconduct, is that right?" Kim asked.

No, she said, the conduct must be while someone is in office -- seemingly contradicting her earlier point – and found to be so by the board and commission. But then she said, "It is true that any misdemeanor relates to the duties of a sheriff."

Kim persisted: "This is where I get stuck. When does it fall below the standard of decency?"

"The charter doesn't answer that question. It's a case-by-case determination," Kaiser said.

"What's to guide us in the future?" Kim asked.

But again, there was no clear answer, it's simply for mayors to decide. "It is a discretionary decision," Kaiser said.

Kim, a lawyer, questioned whether the stance by Kaiser and Lee could lead the courts to strike down the city's untested statute. "Does that open us up to the vagueness issue, which would make the clause unconstitutional?" Kim asked.

But Kaiser said San Francisco voters wanted to give the mayor wide power to interpret misconduct when they approved the broad new official misconduct language in 1995, part of a complete overhaul of the City Charter.

"Voters made a considered choice to put suspend and remove procedures in the charter," she said, trying to counter the argument that recall elections should be used to remove elected officials. "These suspension and removal procedure is more nimble. It's less expensive than a recall."

Yet with a final price tag expected to be in the millions of dollars and proceedings lasting seven months, it’s debatable whether this process was really cheaper and more nimble.

Mirkarimi attorney David Waggoner began his presentation by saying, "There's no question that on Dec. 31, 2011, Ross Mirkarimi made a terrible mistake."

But it was a mistake that Mirkarimi admitted to, accepted the criminal punishment that followed his guilty plea, endured a forced six-month separation from his family, had his job and salary taken from him, was the target of a media and political campaigns that have deeply damaged his reputation, "his entire life's work was destroyed almost in an instant." All for pleading to a low-level misdemeanor.

"At the end of the day, the punishment does not fit the crime," Waggoner said.

He noted that just three elected officials have been removed for official misconduct in the city's history, each time for serious felonies. But now, it's being applied to a misdemeanor with arguments that broaden a mayor's ability to remove political adversaries.

"You must decide whether to uphold or overturn the will of the voters," Waggoner told the supervisors.

He even took a swipe at the domestic violence advocates who have led the campaign to remove Mirkarimi: "Ironically, the very advocates who should be defending Eliana Lopez have been attacking her."

Taking over from Waggoner, Mirkarimi's other attorney, Shepard Kopp, said Mirkarimi had no official duties before taking the oath of office, and the charter makes clear there needs to be connection. "It says misconduct has to occur while an official is in office."

Kopp also brought the focus back to the precedent in this historic case. "The other problem with the mayor's position is it doesn't give you any guidance or future mayors any guidance," Kopp said, later adding, "To follow the mayor's position is not workable policy and it doesn't have any support under the law."

Supervisors questioned Kopp and Waggoner, but it didn't seem to reveal any new insights, simply reinforcing their points that official misconduct should be a rarely used tool applied only to serious crimes.

In her final five-minute final rebuttal, rather than letting her co-counsel Peter Keith speak or trying to mitigate some of the damage from her earlier testimony, Kaiser seemed to double-down on her tactic of using emotional arguments rather than addressing legal standards for removal.

She alleged Mirkarimi's team offered "a theory that domestic violence doesn't matter if you're sheriff," prompting an audible negative reaction from the crowd that Chiu gaveled down. That reaction was even louder and more outraged when Kaiser implied Mirkarimi "threatens the life of a family member."

Those sorts of characterizations fed much of the crowd's stated belief that this case was a "political witchhunt" designed to destroy a progressive leader, and the opposition expressed to some domestic violence advocates testimony could be used against the larger progressive community.

But Agnos, who sat in the audience throughout the long hearing, told us the frustration was understandable. “The crowd, after nine months of agony, expressed a lot of emotions, and that is inherent in mass crowds,” he said. “They didn’t mean ill will to the domestic violence community. There was no malevolent intent there.”

Supervisors who voted to reinstate Mirkarimi said they want to make clear their commitment to combating domestic violence. “I worry that this case has set us back because of the tensions around how we responded,” Avalos said.

“I think it’s important that no matter how we feel about this that we come together as a city,” Campos said. “People on both sides have legitimate viewpoints on this issue.”

Comments

The SF Probation Department:

"Let’s start at the basics – what is probation? Probation is a suspended state prison or county jail sentence. In other words, instead of doing time in custody, you have been given an opportunity to go back to your community provided you follow some specific conditions."

Whoo hoo!

How many other counties in California have a sheriff who is on probation?

Good advice from the SF Probation Department:

"5 - Stay out of trouble! We know you’re facing a lot of challenges and difficulties getting your life back together, but if you need help or support, call your officer before you do something that put you back in jail.

Please remember that we are here to help you succeed. Every little thing you do towards successfully completing this grant of probation will continue to build further successes that will lead you to a healthier lifestyle and happier life."

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 3:48 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... finally some common sense, fairness and JUSTICE ... so the almighty CITY ATTORNEY and MAYOR can and WERE WRONG. Now, Ross should sue for the DAMAGES ... while serving as SHERIFF and get to bring the MAYOR in over his testimony, expose the "HEAVY HANDED TACTICS" by the city attorney and NEWLY MINTED RULES of CONDUCT and STANDARDS for OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT by ETHICS. (P.S. With the new rules and standards at ETHICS I still await ETHICS to contact me about re-opening my nurse "RATCH" case ... see paperwork at http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com "

So shall we HOW fast ETHICS now gets on case # 11048 (Sunshine Official Misconduct) against four supervisors ????

As a matter of fact ... since they did NOT recuse themselves ... maybe another charge of "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT" should be brought since it will clearly fit the DEFINITIONS of "UNCLEAN HANDS, BAD FAITH and INCORRECT CONDUCT." Shall we wait and see or will this too GO AWAY as did the MAYOR 'S TESTIMONY and BOMB SCARE ????

If anything this case reminds me of the INJUSTICE in my case (C02-3485PJH) where the city TESTILIED to have my case dismissed only to sign a confession years later admitting faulty and guilt yet left its INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD ( http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see how far the CITY ATTORNEY will go to just "DO THEIR JOB." In this case it was not only SHAMEFUL it was INHUMANE but what was the consequence ?

Please ROSS sue to demonstrate the "INSTITUTIONAL" violence that you and your family were SUBJECTED to by the CITY FAMILY ...

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 5:48 am

She claimed "voters made a considered choice to put suspend and remove procedures in the charter."

The fact is that voters absolutely didn't intend to give the mayor wide power in 1995 regarding ethics.

A summary of Proposition E written by the City Attorney's office with specific reference to each chapter appears in the November 1995 ballot pamphlet. On page 63:

"Article XV: Ethics

(Current)
The current Charter contains provisions establishing and governing the operations of the Ethics Commission. The Charter also contains detailed prohibitions regulating conflicts of interests. Under the Charter, a salaried officer of the City may not also hold a salaried office with the state or federal governments.

(Proposed)
The proposed revision WOULD MAKE NO SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES REGARDING THE ETHICS COMMISSION [empasis added], although some procedural material would be moved to Appendix C, which could only be changed by a charter amendment. The confilct of interest provisions would also be retained in Appendix C. Dual officeholding would be prohibited where the City and the state or federal salaries both exceed $2,500 a year."

http://sfpl4.sfpl.org/pdf/main/gic/elections/November7_1995short.pdf

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 6:12 am

The Cost (annual basis)

Interim sherriff Henessey's pension: $173,000 (she got a classic city-family double-dip)
Interim sheriff Henessey's salary: $199,000
Ross's salary with back payments: $199,000

$44,000 per month for the sheriff

GOD BLESS THE CITY FAMILY!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 6:21 am

That's why we all need to pull together and give City Hall more money in November!

Posted by tagletigre on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 11:21 am

The fun part is now going to be watching all the "the BOS shouldn't remove Ross - the voters can recall him" Mirk supporters now explain that a recall is completely impermissible as well.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 6:27 am

You must find it fun to watch people make reasoned arguments based on explicit language of law instead of what you snidely suggest was the "real intent" behind that law.

The same charter reform proposition that added the snake adaptable "impliedly required" language to the charter, also introduced a six-month delay period before a recall could begin. The delay was clearly intended to allow the official to *serve* in office for that time period.

I believe the delay period is -- and was -- stupid. Knee-jerk recall elections were largely abated by raising the signature requirements for them.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:05 am

Don't you believe in the will of the voters? Or are you saying that the groundswell of anger against Mirkarimi just doesn't exist?

The anti-Mirk commenters have been talking about recalling the Sheriff for ten months now. As far as anyone can tell, no one has collected the first signature for a recall.

Go ahead, stand on those streetcorners and start asking for signatures. Let's see if you can 50,000.

Posted by Bob In Portland on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 10:18 am

It is highly doubtful that Ross could win an election now, even as janitor's mate.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 10:29 am

There will be no recall. If a snowball melts in Hell it will happen.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

and have always said a recall is the only proper way to remove an elected official. NOthing has changed.
If the recall types hadn't so depended on the attempted political lynching gone amuck..they would have whipped out their checkbooks and started a recall.
Maybe Christine Bronstein , the putative Borders heiress, can cough up a big chunk of change to start the process. she wouldn't have to be directly involved in actually going door to door. She can stay in the pasture with the other horses. Do you think she's still in denial about Kamala Harris and her current hubby?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

for your tenacity and patience and your great victory.

For the wounded, whimpering, non-profit dv activists who insist an arm grab is a hideous, violent act. You are still wrong. For your infantilization of Eliana, you deserve the scorn. Go help some people who have actually been beaten.

for Ross, Eliana and Theo...life begins anew...the birds singing sweeter at dawn,than ever before. You are now a stronger family. Ross has had a tough lesson and is thoroughly chastened, but is now nonetheless stronger and will be a great sheriff.

for Rose Pak, Willie and the puppet Lee, don't go grabbing each other's arms in frustration for losing a big chunk of your power. Couldn't happen to a better bunch.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:41 am

"For the wounded, whimpering, non-profit dv activists who insist an arm grab is a hideous, violent act. You are still wrong. For your infantilization of Eliana, you deserve the scorn. Go help some people who have actually been beaten."

This attitude of many of Mirkarimi's supporters, less than Mirkarimi's actual reinstatement, is why the vast majority of the people who watched the hearing on TV last night have a terrible taste in their mouth this morning. He grabbed her arm out of anger and he bruised her; he falsely imprisoned her and now our sheriff has his own probation officer. These things happened, and to spew bile on those who find those things not OK is very unbecoming, regardless of your interpretation of the letter of the law. Putting your politics above your ethics is an ugly, ugly thing, and I really think this is unfortunately setting progressive politics in this town back.

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

Turning a car around during an argument and not proceeding to a restaurant is now false imprisonment?

Everyone in this delightful North Korean fantasy Island is always smiling, smiling, no consernation afoot anywhere.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 11:44 am

Because the DA could have gone forward onteh charges and he would have been really screwed. Ross has admitted he did wrong and he harmed his wife, why can't you?

Posted by D. Native on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

ignoring their requests to be freed is a crime. Does that really surprise you?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

the DA who had prosecutors draft the original dv charges against the sheriff, failed to disclose those prosecutors had and have financial interests in Ivory Madison's company. He then offered a plea deal, because they couldn't prove child endangerment, witness dissuasion, and spousal abuse. The false imprisonment misdemeanor plea they offered and whichRoss accepted is for turning the family van around on the way to the restaurant where Eliana stillwanted to go. He did not want to take their escalating argument into a public place. She wanted to go to the restaurant. By turning around the car against her wishes, she was falsely imprisoned. the specific misdemeanor is not a crime of moral turpitude, allows you to carry a weapon if permitted, and has specific language of "no intent to harm". Perhaps if you paid more attention to actual American and California law, instead apparently of North Korea, you could figure it out.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

but no sane person really believes that a domestic dispute about turning a car around constitutes "false imprisonment."

Posted by Greg on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

Greg, there are all kinds of laws that aren't particularly sane, but the legal definition of false imprisonment is pretty straightforward, and keeping someone in a vehicle where she doesn't want to be certainly qualifies.

Posted by Hortencia on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 5:20 am

a blow because of the fear factor - you don't know how long you'll be trapped and what the crazy person who is holding you captive is going to do next.

Whereas in a more normal confrontation, you can scream, run away, fight back etc. No doubt this is why Eliana looks so scared in the video.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 5:55 am

Yeah. All those hysterical Domestic Violence Advocates who can't tell the difference between a simple bruise caused during a simple domestic argument. It's just comonsense. Who hasn't argued with their spouse? Who hasn't grabbed their partner a little to hard? Is a small bruise enough to get all riled-up about? Absoulutely not. But when you make a video about it, to document the incident...that's another story. Can't you see the difference? Eliana made a video because it wasn't the first time. Who makes a video about a minor argument with their husband? Even if prodded by a nosy neighbor? Come on. Use your brain. Use commonsense. You are blinded by your loyalty. You have lost all logic and reason. Just like all those who rallied at City Hall. Most of you are just plain nuts. You couldn't even control yourselves after repeatedly told to keep quiet. Little children.

Posted by Guestevan on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

When the neighbor is a politically-connected,female vengeance superhero author who cajoles a much more beautiful woman to look as dowdy as she can for a video the neighbor so desperately wants to make, you need to think twice. When that neighbor advertises herself as "highly legally-trained"and tells the woman (without a secure green card yet)from a country(hostile to the US) that the only way she can ever gain custody of her young boy, should she and the hubby split up, is to make a video alleging domestic violece to "Screw Ross", think yet again.
When the skilled actress in the video states clearly that she is doing this incase there is ever a custody fight, and your brain can't grok it.

there is no hope for you.
some additional reading might help you..see www.citireport.com
Ivory Madison, In her own words..note Ivory Madison and her male companion in the wife-beater t-shirt.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

Ivory Madison, the helpful neighbor, Eliana's confidant, the person Eliana turned to for support against a Domestic Violence Abuser!

How dare Ivory Madison contact the police because her friend was a victim of Domestic Violence!
Domestic Violence Abusers must unite against Domestic Violence Victim's friends, neighbors, confidants, and police.
Domestic Violence must stay behind closed doors.
Ross Mirkarimi must unite all Domestic Violence Abusers and stand strong against Domestic Violence Victims' Advocates. We have a voice, we have a leader, amen to Ross Mirkarimi!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

Jeez, get off the grassy knoll. I could agree that Lee would maybe want to make some hay about Mirkarimi's plea, but to suggest that there was a conspiracy, an effort that, let's be frank, Ross' power, present or future, is not worthy of, only serves to unfortunately make the progressive movement look like total wingnuts.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

is another man's business plan, Guest.

You don't think that Lee took into political consideration the negative situation raised by Madison's video? You don't think that any of that played into Lee's attempts to remove Mirkarimi? You don't think that the City Attorney unilaterally, without Lee's knowledge, added the spurious extra charges against Mirkarimi in the Ethics Commission hearings?

We have two accusations of Lee perjuring himself, which the DA has refused to investigate. Do you think that Gascon made the decision not to take any testimony under oath about this because he was incurious that the Mayor may have perjured himself? Do you think that the anonymous bomb threat caller, who called a police phone line which is not automatically tracked as most other call-in lines, did so coincidentally? Do you think the reason why Gascon is so unmoved by this remarkable fact is because he suspects that he might find elements of the SFPD violating federal anti-terrorism law in order to get the Mayor off the stand during his perjurous rant?

I hope that after Sheriff Mirkarimi gets settled in his office that he review all reports by the SFSD contingent at City Hall the day of Lee's testimony.

That would be okay with you, right?

Posted by Bob In Portland on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 9:41 am

Just the hearsay warbling of a pro-Ross advocate.

But with Ross, we have a video incriminating him. Big difference.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 9:59 am

Which is why an investigation is needed, in order to uncover such evidence as may exist. There are at least two sworn documents alleging perjury was committed; I am not sure if the Mayor has yet submitted such a document denying it took place.
There is undisputed video evidence suggesting that violations of election law occured during his mayoral campaign, why has that not been investigated.

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 10:11 am

Ask Illiana who has harmed her most, Ross or the Prosecution?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 9:41 am

Ask Eliana who"s done her more harm, Ross or the Prosecution.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 9:43 am

you really need to read www.citireport.com Ivory Madison:In her own words..to start to get a sense of who was being manipulated by whom.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

who watched the entire proceedings? I thought not.I'll bet a lot of them were likely lawyers who understood that the Mayor tried to oust an elected official by misusing an overly broad and vague provision of the city charter, which is prima facie unconstitutional. That would have cost this city many more times the million it has already spent to get rid of Ross. You see, believers inthe chinese water torture, never thought ross would have the gumption.....not to quit...the gumption to demand due process. They were wrong. They lost. They should have.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

You'll know what a vast majority looks like when Ross gets his ass handed to him the next time he's up for a vote. His desperate clinging to power is pathetic and ultimately harmful to progressive politics in this town.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

if that happens, then it's the public will, unlike Lee's putsch attempt.

Posted by Bob In Portland on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 9:44 am

70% plus of Sf voters want Ross gone.

As do 70% of the Supes.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 10:00 am

The legal reasonings seem insurmountable. The fact that the DV advocates seemed prone to brand any such thinkers as "enabling a wife beater" is what was most infuriating about their position; they could only play that one note which grossly and unfairly tarred many.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

Do you divine my ethics through your rear-end? An attempted political lynching offends my ethics.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 11:02 am

They bullied anyone who spoke out against Ross. I think Ross should appologise to the City for not only his behaviour but that of his supporters.

This whole thing has been embarrasing to SF, I hope it is now over

Posted by Chris Pratt on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:44 am

Dignity?? Progressives??

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:58 am

Comprehension?? Retards??

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 10:42 am

Nobody was bullied here. There just weren't that many real people who came out to speak in favor of the coup.

But I do agree with you that this has been embarrassing to SF, and I too hope it's over now. Unfortunately, some of your comrades-in-arms are going to want to drag this out on and on, continue wasting taxpayers money and continue embarrassing the city. See Da Native's post just below.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 8:04 am

Nobody was bullied? All of the supervisors who said that they witnessed speakers being bullied were wrong. Campos? Kim? They were all seeing things?

Posted by Troll on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 9:44 am

Most of the time, I agree with you Greg, but there was plenty of bullying. Just read all the comments by the trolls to Eliana Lopez. The people who would "protect her" couldn't have been more vicious, hostile and ugly towards her. Apparently, she was/is too smart and independent to adopt the victim role they had prepared for her. So, they went out of their way to punish her for it. Talk about abuse!

Posted by l on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

that Ross is like Michael Vick or Jerry Sandusky..you deserve to be chastised and booed. When you do it for money and political power, you deserve it even more.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

Thank you guest, fInally a voice of reason!

Bruises are nothing, especially on the arm, even bruises on the face or bruises on the breast. A bruise is nothing of concern!

Domestic Violence Abusers are no longer alone, there is hope and support!
Domestic Violence Abusers must unite with Domestic Violence supporters! We must unite against Domestic Violence Victim's Advocates, concerned friends & family and concerned neighbors like the wretched Poison Ivory!

Domestic Violence is a private matter! Ross Mirkarimi has given all Domestic Violence Abusers hope once again. Eliana Lopez must teach all Donestic Violence Victims to support their Domestic Violence Abusers!
Ross Mirkarimi will be the leader for all Domestic Violence Abusers, Go Ross! Go Ross!!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

So tiresome and boring. This stupid, exclamation point type of sarcasm is for the sfchronicle, not worthy of space in an intelligent discussion.

All bruises are not created equal, dudette. so STFU and get on with your pathetic life.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 9:25 am

Mirkarimi battered his wife. It doesn't matter how severe the bruise it. It was battery.

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

YAWN!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 10:42 am

I watched the entire drama last night and went to sleep with a sick taste in my mouth. Ross did win this round, but there are several things he needs to take away from this.

1. He did not have a majority. 4 out of 11 people felt he should stay in office. Of those four votes, I would say only 1, (Kim) was really based on her personal feelings. The others were all politically motivated. Sad when a group of people that you have worked with for years, wants to fire you.

2. Ross did tremendous damage with his actions. Campos was right, this has set the City back. For all the zealots who supported Ross, who kept denying that it was DV, and it was just an Arm Grab, keep in mind that every single one of the BOS came out and made it clear it was DV. I am very glad that the Ross supporters got taken to task for their behavior at the hearing. Not a good showing.

3. Ross is on limited time. I truly hope a recall effort starts and moves forward. Ross is damaged goods at this point and needs to go. There is no way he can effectively manage his department.

Posted by D. Native on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 7:47 am

The DV leaders would look totally impotent and lazy if they don't ante up for a recall. What's their position otherwise? That they wanted the BOS to do their job for them but once they didn't they just gave up and walked away?

A recall wouldn't be that hard. The DV community has a built in signature gathering team and it shouldn't be that hard to get signatures against someone that 11 supervisors, the mayor and the ethics commission all agreed is abusive. All the technicalities that the Mirkarimi team clung to don't apply in a recall.

And note that, like the many 'push polls', 63% of the Supervisors felt that Ross should go.

Posted by Troll on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 8:00 am

Troll, can we expect you and others to stand on street corners and get fifty thousand signatures to secure a recall ballot against Mirkarimi? There was an organized recall effort in Oakland by a politically-motivated group of old Ron Dellums people to oust Jean Quan that fell flat on its face, and it wasn't because there was overwhelming support for Quan. After ten months of this story I'm guessing most San Franciscans will choose to walk on by the signature collectors. Besides, all the cops organized to undo the election have worked hard snarking at sfgate all these months. Let them rest. They can take out their frustrations on the homeless and demonstrators with their clubs and guns.

Posted by Bob In Portland on Oct. 10, 2012 @ 8:45 am