On the eve of a vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on whether to remove suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from office, a group of domestic violence victim advocates gathered today to call for his ouster.
“We’re standing together in unity and standing for progress,” said Andrea Shorter, a member of the city’s Commission on the Status of Women.
“This is bigger than one person or one incident,” said Kathy Black, executive director of the La Casa de las Madres shelter for domestic violence victims. “We must remain steadfast in affirming that abuse of any form … is never OK no matter who is perpetrating it.”
The group was gathered on the steps of City Hall, where the supervisors on Tuesday will consider permanently removing Mirkarimi, who was suspended in March by Mayor Ed Lee on official misconduct charges.
Mirkarimi pleaded guilty earlier that month to misdemeanor false imprisonment charges in connection with a Dec. 31 incident in which he grabbed his wife’s arm during an argument, causing a bruise. He was sentenced to three years’ probation and other penalties following the guilty plea.
Antonio Ramirez, executive director of POCOVI, which provides counseling to men who are batterers, said Mirkarimi “has a tremendous conflict of interest” by being on probation while “holding other men accountable for their violence.”
Nine of the 11 supervisors will have to approve of the sheriff’s removal for him to be ousted.
The 2 p.m. meeting in the board chambers will include a 10-minute presentation by the Ethics Commission, which voted 4-1 to uphold the official misconduct charges after holding several fact-finding hearings over the past few months.
Mirkarimi’s attorneys and the city attorney’s office will then each make presentations to the board. Following public comment, the supervisors are then expected to make their decision.
Mirkarimi served for seven years on the Board of Supervisors before being elected sheriff last November and taking office in January.
The mayor appointed Vicki Hennessy, a former chief deputy sheriff, to serve as interim sheriff following Mirkarimi’s suspension.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News
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