At least 100 people joined suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi outside City Hall today to call for his reinstatement as the Board of Supervisors prepared to decide whether to oust him from office.
Mirkarimi arrived shortly after noon along with his wife, Eliana Lopez, and the couple’s young son Theo as the crowd yelled “Reinstate Ross now!”
Mirkarimi was suspended without pay on official misconduct charges by Mayor Ed Lee in March after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment for an incident in which he grabbed his wife’s arm during an argument, causing a bruise.
The city’s Ethics Commission, tasked with holding fact-finding hearings and making a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on the case, voted 4-1 in August in favor of upholding the charges and sent the case to the board, which will hear the matter beginning at 2 p.m. today.
“We can only hope for a just outcome,” Mirkarimi said.
He said a decision by the board to remove him would be “a constitutional blow.”
Lopez, speaking in support of her husband, said, “I hope the mayor and supervisors listen to people.”
The couple’s young son was holding a miniature sheriff’s car as Mirkarimi held him and talked to supporters.
Turaco Zaim, one of those supporters, told the crowd via a megaphone that “we know this man, he’s a good man.”
He said the charges against Mirkarimi were “trumped up.”
The opposite sentiment was expressed at a previous rally on Monday held by domestic violence victim advocates who called for his ouster.
“This is bigger than one person or one incident,” said Kathy Black, executive director of the La Casa de las Madres shelter.
Black said a vote by supervisors to allow Mirkarimi to stay in office “would mock the real danger” faced by victims of domestic violence.
People on both sides plan to speak during the public comment period of today’s hearing, which could last several hours.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News