San Francisco sheriff keeps gun, but will he keep his job?

March 20, 2012

By staff and news services

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was sentenced Monday to serve one day in jail after pleading guilty to one count of “false imprisonment” for a New Year’s Eve spat with his wife, Eliana Lopez, during which he bruised her arms.

Mirkarimi also received three months’ probation and was ordered to take part in anger management counseling. A temporary stay-away order preventing him from contact with his wife and toddler son remains in place.

A plea deal that averted a domestic violence conviction was a deft maneuver that allowed the Mirkarimi to retain his gun, and thus be able to carry out his duties as sheriff. But if he is to continue in the post, he will first have to survive a political challenge.

“It would be a stretch for the San Francisco sheriff to oversee programs and impose sentences of domestic violence on inmates when he has been convicted under similar circumstances,” said Kathy Black, executive director of Casa de Las Madres, a nonprofit that assists abuse victims. “I think it would be best for everybody if he would step down. If he’s not willing to do the right thing, then the mayor and board of supervisors must.”

majority of San Francisco residents agree, according to aCBS 5 poll conducted last week. Sixty-one percent of 400 people surveyed want Mirkarimi to leave office, with only 21 percent saying he should remain. Fifty-eight percent said city leaders should remove Mirkarimi if he does not step down voluntarily, according to the poll.

“There are no excuses and I accept full responsibility,” said Mirkarimi, reading a statement to the media after the sentencing, The Associated Press reported. He “sincerely apologized” to his family, the Sheriff’s Department and the people of San Francisco, it said.

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