Ross Mirkarimi Loses Yet Another Battle in Court

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Ross Mirkarimi
Much to nobody's surprise, except perhaps Ross Mirkarimi himself, the embattled sheriff today suffered another setback in his quest to get his job back, leaving his political future officially in the  hands of the city's Ethics Commission.

A judge ruled today that it was perfectly legal for Mayor Ed Lee to suspend Mirkarimi without pay after the sheriff pleaded guilty to charges of false imprisonment connected to a New Year's Eve domestic dispute with his wife, Eliana Lopez. Mirkarimi had appealed Mayor Lee's decision, arguing that his official misconduct did not occur while he was holding the office of sheriff, and therefore doesn't apply.

But San Francisco Superior Judge Harold Kahn denied that appeal today, saying that the issue "can and should be addressed by the administrative procedure."

The Ethics Commission is slated to hear the case on Monday. The commission must decide whether Mirkarimi's conviction constitutes "official misconduct," which would allow Mayor Lee to remove Mirkarimi from his post permanently.

City officials were obviously pleased by today's decision, saying they look forward to making their case in front of the Ethics Commission. No word on whether Mirkarimi will have to testify at the hearings.

"Certainly the sheriff is going to have to testify under oath, and not just to the media," Deputy City Attorney Sherri Kaiser told reporters outside the courtroom.

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