Video by Steve Zeltzer.
By Luke Thomas
September 24, 2012
Chanting “Shame on you,” a reference to Mayor Ed Lee and his effort to remove a political opponent from office, as many as 100 protesters attended a rally under the balcony of the mayor’s of office on September 17, calling for suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to be reinstated.
The rally was attended by members of SEIU 1021 and the Labor Council. Speakers included Mirkarimi’s wife, Eliana Lopez; Sheriff Mirkarimi; SEIU 1021 organizer Gabriel Haaland; Frank Martinez of the the Labor Council; former District Attorney Terence Hallinan and SEIU 1021 field representative Gus Feldman.
“It’s a challenging situation,” said SEIU 1021 organizer Gabriel Haaland. “But what’s so ugly and makes me so angry, as a domestic violence survivor – I got the shit kicked out of me as a child – to have this issue used as a political tool, for no other reason than to take out a political opponent, does a disservice to domestic violence survivors like me.”
Mirkarimi was suspended without pay in March by Mayor Lee following Mirkarimi’s plea to one misdemeanor count of false imprisonment stemming from a heated argument with Lopez on December 31 during which Mirkarimi grabbed Lopez’ arm and caused a bruise.
A subsequent Ethics Commission probe comprising political appointees sustained, in a 4-1 vote, two of six charges of official misconduct filed by the mayor. However, the Board of Supervisors, which is expected to take up the matter on October 9, will ultimately decide if Mirkarimi will be reinstated or be permanently removed from office. Nine of eleven supervisors must vote in the affirmative to remove a democratically elected official from office.