Last update: 7 PM, added mugshot and booking sheet
In a press conference held this afternoon at the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, DA Gascon announced that Sheriff Mirkarimi would be facing three charges following an alleged New Year’s Eve altercation with his wife.
As reported earlier by multiple news organizations, Mirkarimi, the focus of domestic violence accusations after an alleged New Year’s Eve altercation with his wife, will be charged with three misdemeanors, specifically domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.
According to Appeal reporter Chris Roberts, who is at the Hall of Justice, a court clerk said that as of 4 PM the DA was filing the criminal complaint against Mirkarimi.
At the press conference, DA Gascon said that though his office did “not relish having to bring charges against a SF elected official…we have determined that the extent of the injuries” necessitate prosecution.
“This type of behavior is inexcusable,” Gascon said, describing the alleged incident.
Gascon acknowledged the challenges facing the case given that Mirkarimi’s wife, Eliana Lopez, is refusing to cooperate with the prosecution (Gascon said today that her lawyer even instructed the DA’s office not to speak with Lopez).
“The case is always stronger if the victim is willing to testify,” he said, describing this uncooperative behavior as “very common” in cases of this nature.
Gascon indicated that his office did not believe the alleged New Year’s Eve incident was an isolated one, saying “we have information on other incidents.”
Despite Lopez’s lack of cooperation, a judge today signed an emergency protective order against Mirkarimi, which will prevent him from approaching Lopez or returning home until after a hearing. “My first priority is the safety of Ms. Lopez,” said Gascon today.
He also expressed concerns about the safety of Lopez and Mirkarimi’s three-year-old son, who Gascon says was present during the alleged incident.
Minutes after Gascon’s news conference, Mirkarimi and Lopez held a news conference of their own at the sheriff’s office at San Francisco City Hall.
“I believe these charges are very unfounded,” Mirkarimi said. “We will fight these charges.”
He said he was making plans to be booked on the charges.
“I will of course be booked, I’m not above the law like anyone else,” Mirkarimi said.
He also said he has no intention of stepping down from his post.
“I have no intention of leaving,” Mirkarimi said.
Lopez also spoke to reporters, saying “This is unbelievable, I don’t have any complaints against my husband.”
Prosecutors say that if Mirkarimi is convicted of a domestic violence charge, even a misdemeanor, he would have to give up his department-issued gun and could be subject to searches as terms of probation.
In a statement sent at 5:55 this evening, Mayor Lee described the charges as “extremely serious and troubling.”
“As Mayor, I must now review the facts and options available to me under the City Charter, but I must also ensure that we do not take steps that undermine the integrity of the criminal justice proceedings underway.”
A warrant has been issued for Mirkarimi’s arrest, and he’s been required to surrender his firearm. SF Weekly reports that Mirkarimi has asked to be booked and processed inside his office in SF’s City Hall. An SFPD spokesperson Appeal reporter Chris Roberts spoke with could not comment on what is happening regarding custody.
In a press release sent at 6:18 Friday evening, SFPD said that “Mr. Ross Mirkarimi has been booked at San Francisco County Jail on charges of: domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness. He has been released on bail.”
Patricia Decker, Scott Morris, Dan McMenamin and Chris Roberts contributed to this report
Elsewhere: Source: Sheriff to Face Misdemeanors in Dispute [AP]
Sheriff to face three charges after abuse allegations [Chron]
Ross Mirkarimi to Face Three Misdemeanors, Sources Say [Weekly]
Ross Mirkarimi Update: Sheriff Charged, DA Requests Emergency Restraining Order [Weekly]
[CBS5] Poll: Embattled SF Sheriff Mirkarimi Should Step Aside
Ross Mirkarimi To Face Three Misdemeanor Charges in Domestic Violence Case, Sources Say [SFist]
SF Sheriff Mirkarimi To Face 3 Misdemeanors Tied To Domestic Dispute [CBS5]
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi will not resign, spokesman says [Ex]
Sheriff To Face Domestic Violence Charges [AP via HuffPo]