mirkarimi_defendantsname.jpgSan Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said this morning that he plans to speak with Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi about whether Mirkarimi is fit to continue serving in his post amidst allegations of domestic abuse.

Lee said he expects to have a discussion with Mirkarimi by “the end of the day today” about whether Mirkarimi can fulfill his duties while navigating court appearances leading up to a trial.

Mirkarimi will go on trial on Feb. 24 on three misdemeanor charges one charge each of domestic violent battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.

Mirkarimi will appear in court Thursday, when his attorney Bob Waggener will argue for the removal of a stay-away order that is preventing him from contacting his wife, Eliana Lopez, and the couple’s 2-year-old son, Theo.

Lee would not say whether he would ask Mirkarimi to step down.

“It’s incumbent upon the sheriff to make a decision,” he said, noting that Mirkarimi must consider the effects the trial will have not only on the public but also on his staff.

Lee said Mirkarimi is already under a tremendous amount of pressure and that he does not want to add further pressure.

“I’m not a political person. I don’t put pressure on anybody,” Lee said.

When questioned by reporters about whether he considers the allegations a national embarrassment–which is how he referred to the recent blackout at Candlestick Park–Lee said simply that the trial is “a very serious matter.”

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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