The San Francisco Ethics Commission today rejected a request by suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to postpone sending his administrative case to the Board of Supervisors until after the November election.
Mirkarimi’s attorneys submitted the request on Monday, arguing that the board’s vote on whether to permanently remove him from office should not take place while many of the supervisors are running for re-election and subject to political pressures.
Benedict Hur, chair of the city’s Ethics Commission, denied the request in a two-page response issued today, calling Mirkarimi’s arguments “speculative.”
Hur wrote, “There is no evidence suggesting that any member of the Board of Supervisors will disregard the facts and the law and instead vote to sustain the charges based upon perceived political pressure.”
The Ethics Commission was tasked by the city charter to conduct fact-finding hearings in the administrative case against Mirkarimi, who was suspended without pay by Mayor Ed Lee in March following his guilty plea to a false imprisonment charge in connection with a Dec. 31 incident in which he grabbed and bruised his wife’s arm during an argument.
On Aug. 16, the commission voted 4-1 to recommend upholding the official misconduct charges against Mirkarimi, with Hur as the lone dissenter.
The commissioners earlier this week ratified their decision and approved the transcripts from the various hearings, but delayed a decision on the postponement request until today.
Hur wrote that the commission will “send the record and its recommendation to the board promptly upon completion.”
Mabel Ng, deputy executive director of the Ethics Commission, said the panel hopes to send the documents to the board by next Tuesday.
Attorneys for Mirkarimi were not immediately available today to comment on the commission’s decision.
Once the commission submits the case to the supervisors, the board has 30 days to vote on whether to reinstate or remove the sheriff. The decision to oust him from office would require the approval of nine of 11 supervisors.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News