SF Sheriff Removed and Charged with Misconduct
March 21, 2012, San Francisco
San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee showed good judgment in filing official misconduct charges, temporarily suspending Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from office, and starting the process to permanently remove him from the post. Once again, Mirkarimi has declined an opportunity to complete the process of accountability by stepping down gracefully. It is now up to the ethics committee to hold a hearing and refer the matter to the Board of Supervisors. The supervisors will then determine what standards of conduct the city and county expects of its public officials.
San Francisco’s domestic violence prevention community has been proactive and steadfast in its efforts to pursue what it believed was unacceptable behavior by an elected public official. Relying on the laws and system it worked so hard to create, and which now treat domestic violence as a serious crime, the DV community successfully advocated for a just and complete resolution.
Thanks to the training and technical assistance funded by the Violence Against Women Act, communities now have the tools and resources to enhance all sectors of the justice system in performing their duties to support victims and hold perpetrators accountable. The San Francisco justice system, likewise performed well, demonstrating patient, professional tenacity in its pursuit of a difficult, case against a public official charged with domestic violence.
In short, San Francisco played by the rules and upheld the laws and standards that have been instituted to protect victims of violence and hold all offenders accountable for their behavior. It’s time for Mirkarimi to demonstrate humility and good judgment by stepping aside and sparing the community the additional turmoil and expense of a prolonged public proceeding.