mirkarimi_defendantsname.jpgThe San Francisco Ethics Commission on Tuesday will begin its administrative hearing on whether suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi should be removed from office on official misconduct charges.

Mirkarimi was suspended without pay by Mayor Ed Lee after he pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanor false imprisonment charge in connection with a New Year’s Eve incident in which he grabbed and bruised the arm of his wife during an argument.

Under the city charter, Mirkarimi has the right to defend himself at a hearing of the Ethics Commission, which will then make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on whether to uphold the charges and remove him from office or reinstate him as sheriff.

A recommendation for removal would require the approval of nine of the 11 members of the board, which Mirkarimi served on for seven years before being elected sheriff last November.

The Ethics Commission has held a couple of preliminary meetings to establish the format of the administrative hearing, which will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

Witnesses in the case submitted written declarations earlier this month, and some of the key figures, such as Mirkarimi and Lee, have been requested to appear in front of the commission for cross-examination.

The Ethics Commission hearing is expected to continue on June 28 and 29.

Mirkarimi was sentenced to three years’ probation and other penalties following his March 12 guilty plea.

Lee appointed Vicki Hennessy, a former chief deputy sheriff, to serve as interim sheriff while Mirkarimi’s case moves forward.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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