San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, his wife, Eliana Lopez, and their four-year-old son, Theo, shone Thursday during a Valentine’s Day celebration of “One Billion Rising,” a global awareness campaign demanding an end to violence against women and girls.
Following on the heels of a fruitless criminal investigation by the district attorney’s office into alleged voter fraud during last year’s race for mayor, District Attorney George Gascón and San Francisco Department of Elections Director John Arntz announced today the creation of an election fraud hotline.
Since this nightmare began nine months ago, my integrity, intelligence and independence have been attacked over and over again by individuals claiming to defend me. In every instance, I’ve been cast as an immigrant woman with limited English proficiency who is incapable of asserting her rights, understanding domestic violence, or speaking with her own voice
As many as 150 women gathered Sunday on the steps of City Hall to demonstrate their support for suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and to repudiate efforts by Mayor Ed Lee to remove a political opponent from office at the expense of democracy and taxpayer funds.
A chartered Democratic Party club in San Francisco is calling for a criminal investigation into allegations of felony perjury committed by Mayor Ed Lee during an Ethics Commission inquest into whether suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi committed official misconduct.
Over a couple weeks of discussion among our steering committee members, we wrote this letter which we sent to the SF Ethics Commission asking them to reinstate Ross Mirkarimi as sheriff.
At his quarterly neighborhood newspaper briefing Friday, District Attorney George Gascón announced plans to ramp up the Neighborhood Prosecutor Initiative as part of his vision to make San Francisco the safest large city in the country.
It couldn’t have come soon enough, but today Eliana Lopez and suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and their three-year old son, Theo, are reunited and repatriated, thanks to the lifting of a stay away order imposed on the couple in January.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón signaled today his office is prepared to file criminal charges should the Ethics Commission determine Mayor Ed Lee perjured himself while providing sworn testimony in is his bid to remove suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from office.
Gascón said he recognized that there are those who wanted him to “go for the jugular” and keep the trial going; others felt that the prosecution of Mirkarimi was a political vendetta. Gascón concluded that since “ideologues on both sides” may be disappointed in the plea agreement, “This gives me comfort and reassurance that I have not politicized the case and that I have done my absolute best to treat it like any another domestic violence allegation.”
Calling the Sheriff “a national embarrassment,” Cathy Black, the executive director of Case De Las Madres, a shelter dedicated to victims of domestic violence, told a bevy of reporters gathered on the steps of City Hall, “I think it would be best for everybody involved if he would step aside. If Sheriff Mirkarimi will not do the right thing, then the mayor and the Board of Supervisors must.”
In exchange for Mirkrarimi’s plea agreement, the District Attorney George Gascón has dropped three misdemeanor charges of alleged domestic violence, dissuading a witness and child endangerment.
Mirkarimi faces sentencing next Monday that is expected to include up to three years probation, 100 hours of community service, 52 weeks of domestic violence classes, as well as a fine of $590. A stay away order imposed in January remains in effect subject to a Family court order.
According to court documents, Cole Hardware is one of two city vendors and one of ten co-defendants to have engaged in a conspiracy to bilk the city out of at least $100,000 between 2003 and 2007. It is alleged that Donnie Alan Thomas, a former SFPUC supervisor who pled guilty last year for his role in the scam, worked in conjunction with Cole Hardware employee Elizabeth Bradford – who has not pled in the case and awaits a preliminary hearing – knowingly submitted fraudulent invoices to the SFPUC with false descriptions of items purchased. The false descriptions allowed Thomas to conceal that he was purchasing items for personal benefit.
Gascón also stated that he will not seek the death penalty “in any case” when discussing a previously-cold 1983 murder case.
Go Lorrie’s Travel & Tours, Inc., better known as GO Lorrie’s, is charged with making $11,500 in illegal contributions last September to the Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 campaign committee. Also charged are Jason Perez, age 40, of San Mateo, the company’s general manager, and Hanan Qutami, 56, of South San Francisco, the company’s chief financial officer.
Mirkarimi was formally charged with alleged domestic violence, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness, stemming from an incident on New Year’s Eve involving Mirkarimi and his wife, Eliana Lopez.
Gascón’s presenters comprised the political elite. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, who appointed Gascón following former DA Kamala Harris’ election to California Attorney General, introduced Mistress of Ceremonies, US Senator Dianne Feinstein. DiFi acknowledged over 30 elected officials and judges from Los Angeles to Sonoma County including Senator Mark Leno, Mayor Ed Lee and Police Chief Greg Suhr. Harris introduced Spoken Word poet, Brandon Santiago. Each politico paid homage to former Mayor Willie Brown who introduced retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, who administered the oath of office. Gascon’s wife, Fabiola, held the Bible when Gascón took oath.