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A video of the wife of suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was again the subject of a legal battle in court today as his suspension proceedings move forward haltingly.

The city attorney’s office is seeking the use in the proceedings of a video of Eliana Lopez, who was taped by a neighbor on Jan. 1 crying and pointing to a bruise on her arm that she said was caused when Mirkarimi grabbed her during an argument the previous day, authorities said.

Lopez’s attorney Paula Canny asked for a delay so she could file further briefs on the matter. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Garrett Wong agreed to delay ruling on the issue until May 15.

After the neighbor, Ivory Madison, called police to report the incident, Mirkarimi was eventually arrested two weeks later and the video was the central piece of evidence in the prosecution’s case against him.

Just before the case was set to go to trial, Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and was sentenced on March 19 to three years’ probation and other penalties.

Two days later, Mayor Ed Lee suspended Mirkarimi without pay on official misconduct charges.

The suspended sheriff has a right to a hearing at the city’s Ethics Commission and later the Board of Supervisors, which will ultimately decide whether to uphold the charges and remove Mirkarimi from office.

Canny said outside of court today that the city’s attempt to use the video in the suspension proceedings “smacks, to me, of an effort at character assassination” and said it would serve to re-victimize her client.

Lee, speaking to reporters at City Hall this afternoon, said he thought it was important to include the video in the public record because “it does allow people to view what happened at that time.”

He said, “It sets the tone … I know there’s a different tone being set now by Mr. Mirkarimi at this time that it was an argument, not an act of violence.”

The mayor said he did not think that Lopez “can claim privacy when she was recording (the video) for use in a future setting.”

Mirkarimi’s attorneys have previously said that Lopez wanted the video for potential use in a custody hearing over the couple’s young son rather than for criminal charges.

The battle over the video comes in advance of the next Ethics Commission hearing on May 29 on the Mirkarimi case. The hearing is expected to only address rules and procedures for the proceedings, which could take months.

Lee said the case “does use a lot of resources and time” and “I wish that didn’t happen.”

Deputy City Attorney Peter Keith, who represented the city at today’s hearing, said although the case might not be resolved any time soon, the Ethics Commission “needs to make their decision based on a full record.”

Keith said the city attorney’s office would be sitting down with Mirkarimi’s attorneys to “get the proceedings to go as quickly as possible.”

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • jccourt

    The Mayor says: ” Mirkarimi Video “does allow people to view what happened at that time”

    Eliana Lopez does not agree with you Mayor Lee. That video was the result of the shenanigans orchestrated by the neighbor Ivory Madison.

    and TALKING ABOUT ETHICS.

    Spare Eliana Lopez from this circus. This city, this mayor, and this city attorney are planning to use her to destroy her own family, do you people have no shame? Thanks.

  • jccourt

    The Mayor says: ” Mirkarimi Video “does allow people to view what happened at that time”

    Eliana Lopez does not agree with you Mayor Lee. That video was the result of the shenanigans orchestrated by the neighbor Ivory Madison.

    and TALKING ABOUT ETHICS.

    Spare Eliana Lopez from this circus. This city, this mayor, and this city attorney are planning to use her to destroy her own family, do you people have no shame? Thanks.

  • milkcluber

    Ed Lee declined to meet with Eliana Mirkarimi to hear what she had to say and has never seen the video himself.

    He pulled the trigger only to find that his gun wasn???t loaded with any evidence. We would all be better off if Lee were to withdraw his effort to remove Mirkarimi, which includes banning him for life from holding office.

    Ed, you are not making the city better as a result of your decision in this case. If anything, you have unearthed a strain of vigilantism and mob mentality because you failed to take care with how you dealt with this.

    We who knew you expected much, much better.

  • milkcluber

    Ed Lee declined to meet with Eliana Mirkarimi to hear what she had to say and has never seen the video himself.

    He pulled the trigger only to find that his gun wasn???t loaded with any evidence. We would all be better off if Lee were to withdraw his effort to remove Mirkarimi, which includes banning him for life from holding office.

    Ed, you are not making the city better as a result of your decision in this case. If anything, you have unearthed a strain of vigilantism and mob mentality because you failed to take care with how you dealt with this.

    We who knew you expected much, much better.

  • appalled

    Both of the commenters are just shilling for Mirkarimi.

    Fact: Eliana Lopez *HERSELF* came to the neighbor’s house; and herself asked for her statement to be recorded on video. What part of “she wanted the video to be recorded for custody battle” don’t you guys get?

    Why was she thinking of a custody battle anyways? Because there was fighting going on between Ross and Eliana! She took it nuclear by going to the neighbor. Ross went too far and physically assaulted her.

    Look at the image: the bruise is on her right arm. He claims he grabbed her as she was getting out of the van. But the driver is to the left of the passenger; if he had grabbed her as he claims, the bruise would be on the arm closest to him which is the *left* arm.

    But Mirkarimi supporters need not worry: they will compromise and kick him into some other political position where he continues to feed on the trough. That’s the way it always works out for these politicians.

  • appalled

    Both of the commenters are just shilling for Mirkarimi.

    Fact: Eliana Lopez *HERSELF* came to the neighbor’s house; and herself asked for her statement to be recorded on video. What part of “she wanted the video to be recorded for custody battle” don’t you guys get?

    Why was she thinking of a custody battle anyways? Because there was fighting going on between Ross and Eliana! She took it nuclear by going to the neighbor. Ross went too far and physically assaulted her.

    Look at the image: the bruise is on her right arm. He claims he grabbed her as she was getting out of the van. But the driver is to the left of the passenger; if he had grabbed her as he claims, the bruise would be on the arm closest to him which is the *left* arm.

    But Mirkarimi supporters need not worry: they will compromise and kick him into some other political position where he continues to feed on the trough. That’s the way it always works out for these politicians.

  • appalled

    Both of the commenters are just shilling for Mirkarimi.

    Fact: Eliana Lopez *HERSELF* came to the neighbor’s house; and herself asked for her statement to be recorded on video. What part of “she wanted the video to be recorded for custody battle” don’t you guys get?

    Why was she thinking of a custody battle anyways? Because there was fighting going on between Ross and Eliana! She took it nuclear by going to the neighbor. Ross went too far and physically assaulted her.

    Look at the image: the bruise is on her right arm. He claims he grabbed her as she was getting out of the van. But the driver is to the left of the passenger; if he had grabbed her as he claims, the bruise would be on the arm closest to him which is the *left* arm.

    But Mirkarimi supporters need not worry: they will compromise and kick him into some other political position where he continues to feed on the trough. That’s the way it always works out for these politicians.

  • appalled

    Both of the commenters are just shilling for Mirkarimi.

    Fact: Eliana Lopez *HERSELF* came to the neighbor’s house; and herself asked for her statement to be recorded on video. What part of “she wanted the video to be recorded for custody battle” don’t you guys get?

    Why was she thinking of a custody battle anyways? Because there was fighting going on between Ross and Eliana! She took it nuclear by going to the neighbor. Ross went too far and physically assaulted her.

    Look at the image: the bruise is on her right arm. He claims he grabbed her as she was getting out of the van. But the driver is to the left of the passenger; if he had grabbed her as he claims, the bruise would be on the arm closest to him which is the *left* arm.

    But Mirkarimi supporters need not worry: they will compromise and kick him into some other political position where he continues to feed on the trough. That’s the way it always works out for these politicians.

  • jccourt

    Appalled you say: ” Both of the commenters are just shilling for Mirkarimi.”

    You assumed wrong.

    Eliana went to the neighbor for legal advice, the neighbor is a law school graduate (but did not pass the bar exam) It is the neighbor that suggested a video be made.

    The unintentional bruise was created by grabbing his wife’s arm while she was trying to remove her son from the car.

    The DA offered a plea deal, and it was accepted.

    The mayor now wants to retry this case, in order to remove the Sheriff, and that is appalling, appalled. Thanks.

  • jccourt

    Appalled you say: ” Both of the commenters are just shilling for Mirkarimi.”

    You assumed wrong.

    Eliana went to the neighbor for legal advice, the neighbor is a law school graduate (but did not pass the bar exam) It is the neighbor that suggested a video be made.

    The unintentional bruise was created by grabbing his wife’s arm while she was trying to remove her son from the car.

    The DA offered a plea deal, and it was accepted.

    The mayor now wants to retry this case, in order to remove the Sheriff, and that is appalling, appalled. Thanks.

  • Eyesopen

    I agree with Milkcluber and jccourt. This video and the entire case are a fabrication aimed at removing Mirkarimi. This is a mockery of our justice system and an overreach that will be tossed out by the court if it ever makes it that far. The city attorney should be ashamed for backing up the mayor on this. If any should lose their job it should be the mayor and city attorney. STOP THE MADNESS. Recall Ed Lee.

  • Eyesopen

    I agree with Milkcluber and jccourt. This video and the entire case are a fabrication aimed at removing Mirkarimi. This is a mockery of our justice system and an overreach that will be tossed out by the court if it ever makes it that far. The city attorney should be ashamed for backing up the mayor on this. If any should lose their job it should be the mayor and city attorney. STOP THE MADNESS. Recall Ed Lee.