I hate to sound like a lawyer, but: There’s a big hole in Mayor Ed Lee’s suspension of Ross Mirkarimi as sheriff.
In written charges that launched a San Francisco Ethics Commission investigation on “official misconduct,” Lee asserted that during a New Year’s Eve argument, Mirkarimi grabbed his wife Eliana Lopez “with such force that he bruised her upper right arm.” The big hole: Mirkarimi didn’t become sheriff until Jan. 8.
“One cannot abuse an office one does not hold,” wrote Mirkarimi attorney David P. Waggoner in a legal challenge to the suspension.
Lee also charged that persons acting for Mirkarimi – read: Lopez – “dissuaded and intimidated one or more witnesses.” In a Chronicle op-ed, neighbor Abraham Mertens claimed that on Jan. 4, Lopez asked him and his wife to destroy evidence in the case. That allegation has not been proved in court; and again, Mirkarimi wasn’t sheriff.
The mayor claims that the City Charter doesn’t “require that the wrongful conduct at issue occur while the officer held the office from which the mayor seeks to remove him.” So how far back in time can the mayor go?
The answer to that question should give pause to other San Francisco elected officials.