SAN FRANCISCO — A judge Friday refused to reinstate suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, paving the way for a city ethics commission and the Board of Supervisors to determine whether the elected sheriff should be removed for a domestic violence-related conviction.
Mirkarimi, 50, elected keeper of San Francisco's jails in November, argued that Mayor Ed Lee did not have authority to suspend him for an action that occurred before Mirkarimi was sworn in as sheriff in January.
Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to a false imprisonment misdemeanor rather than go to trial on charges stemming from a New Year's Eve quarrel with his wife, Venezuelan telenovela star Eliana Lopez. Lopez suffered a bruise on her arm after Mirkarimi grabbed her during an argument about whether she could take their son to Venezuela.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold E. Kahn, presiding over Friday's court hearing, said Mirkarimi should try to win his case before the city's ethics panel and the Board of Supervisors before resorting to the courts. The judge observed that there was a long tradition of elected officials being judged by other elected lawmakers and noted that presidents can be impeached.