Domestic Violence Groups Ask Mayor Ed Lee to Boot Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from His Post

Categories: Politics
Prosecutors might have let Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi off the hook with charges of abusing his wife, but women's groups across San Francisco aren't quite so ready to forgive. Today, a coalition of anti-domestic violence groups will march to City Hall, demanding that Mayor Ed Lee boot Mirkarimi from his post as the county's top cop.

As the sheriff stated earlier this week, he has no plans to step down after pleading guilty to false imprisonment in connection to domestic violence charges involving his wife, Eliana Lopez. Mirkarimi was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor counts, including battery and child endangerment, a few days after he had been sworn in as the new county sheriff.

Earlier this week, prosecutors agreed to drop all three charges in exchange for a guilty plea for false imprisonment. Mirkarimi will be forced to attend domestic violence counseling while on probation for three years.

But that's not satisfying San Franciscans who can't get their heads around the twisted irony that our county sheriff, who was booked into his own jail, will now be booking criminals himself.

The mayor should "take the necessary steps to ensure that victims of domestic violence in San Francisco feel safe seeking help from city law enforcement," said Beverly Upton, of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium. "If Mirkarimi does not step down immediately, then we must rely on Mayor Lee and the Board to remove him. The legal system worked and now the political system must do its job."

But as we reported earlier, Lee's hands are tied on this one; it won't be easy for the mayor to fire the sheriff, an elected official. 

Still, that's not stopping Kathy Black of La Casa de las Madres, a domestic violence group, from calling the Mirkarimi saga "a national embarrassment."

"That Sheriff Mirkarimi thinks he can plead guilty one minute and swear to 'move forward' as Sheriff in the next is simply unacceptable," she said. "I don't see how he can 'move forward' without first taking real responsibility. "

And let's not forget, La Casa de las Madres is part of the coalition of advocates which successfully raised thousands of dollars to put up a billboard riffing off Mirkarimi's distasteful statement in response to his own charges of domestic violence, calling it a "private matter, a family matter."

The group plastered its message on the billboard at the corner of Harrison and 10th streets, reminding commuters that "Domestic Violence is never a private matter."

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I do not agree with your strong arms tactics to remove the sheriff from his position on a misdeameanor. I feel that you are using tea party methods to force our elected officials into a corner. Where they act only to protect their political careers. Let the people speak! Your pitbull tactics, step outside the realm of descency. You are oppressing a woman's right to choose, how she removes the abuser in her life. This incident has become a battle royale, without any regard to his wife and son! Your agenda has become primary, you are stepping into a space, where women such as myself, will not turn to you in their time of need. What is this really about, and who is funding your bulletin boards, and who stansds to gain from his removal as sherriff.


"And let's not forget, La Casa de las Madres is part of the coalition of advocates which successfully raised thousands of dollars to put up a billboard riffing off Mirkarimi's distasteful statement in response to his own charges of domestic violence, calling it a "private matter, a family matter.""  

You know what's really funny? The fact that La Casa provides the "supervisors" to the SF Court's only supervised visitation center, Rally at St. Francis Memorial, and Mirkarimi approved their VAWA grant application as supervisor in 2011.  I have that grant, and the purpose is to (among other objectives):

 (1) increase enrollment in their programs by commissioning the court's mediators to make referrals to unsuspecting protective parents, (2) increase the amount of time that noncustodial child sex predators and violent criminals spend with children, (3) "Success" is measured in part by how many of these violent offenders go on to gain custody of their victims.

So I object to La Casa's inappropriate campaign spending with my tax dollars, because Mirkarimi was a potential client-and they are the ONLY SF court endorsed supervised visitation provider.

Although La Casa's money trail is very concerning and not readily available for public review, the IRS does think their spending habits are NEVER A PRIVATE MATTER. And I urge SF Weekly to follow up on it.

Whether Mirkarimi is guilty is just a distraction from the real issue, which is that my tax dollars are being used by La Casa to put hundreds of children in profitably dangerous situations. Speaking of Josh Powell slaughtering his children on a not-so-supervised visit, when the Sheriff's office starts employing La Casa's rent-a-social workers to guard violent offenders, then I will feel comfortable using Rally to "protect" women and children from the very same rapists and violent predators.


The Mayor himself stated the citizens of SF can also take action by starting a petition to recall the Sheriff.  However, the petition has to wait six months after the official has taken office.  A petition to recall could be ready in time for the November election.

The Mayor taking action to remove Mirkarimi would ultimately end up in the Board of Supervisors' laps and would need a 9-3 vote. 

Based on what I have read there is no chance Mirkarimi will voluntarily resign unless he has no other choice.


Contrary to popular opinion, the mayor is not a dictator. The only way you can really remove the Sheriff is to take the billboard money and put it towards a recall campaign, complete with signature gatherers and the like. Do that, and you can try and get rid of the current sheriff. It isn't easy but it is certainly very possible.

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