Monday, March 19, 2012

All Over But The Shouting: Sheriff Mirkarimi Is Sentenced For DV

The prosecution of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi ended today with a judge handing down a sentence comprised of three years probation with a day of jail on the side

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was sentenced to one day in jail and three years of probation today for falsely imprisoning his wife during an incident in which he allegedly bruised her. 
An emotional Mirkarimi said outside the courtroom that he accepted full responsibility for his actions. He will get credit for the time he has already spent in jail. 
"In standing before you today, I am ashamed and deeply sorry for my behavior," Mirkarimi said outside the courtroom. "I offer my deepest heartfelt apology. I'm going to devote myself to repair my relationship with my family, with the people of San Francisco, and am committed to becoming a better public servant, one you can be proud of - someone who should not hide from their mistakes." 
Mirkarimi pleaded guilty last week to misdemeanor false imprisonment stemming from a New Year's Eve incident in which prosecutors say he inflicted a large bruise on his wife's right arm. 
In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped misdemeanor charges of domestic violence battery, dissuading a witness and endangering a child. The couple's 2-year-old son was in the couple's Western Addition home when the incident happened.
In addition to the jail and probation sentence, Mirkarimi, who oversees the city's jails and one of the state's largest law enforcement agencies, will also attend domestic-violence intervention classes for one year, perform 100 hours of community service, pay $590 in court costs and, if ordered by his probation officer, take parenting classes.

Sheriff Mirkarimi finally shed some tears at the courthouse, but whether they were tears of remorse, or of regret from being caught we will never know. 

There still seems to be some question whether Mirkarimi will remain in office. It's hard to believe, but he's only been sheriff since January(!) with his criminal case as the only significant event of his very brief term in office. I can't imagine he could be re-elected, although four years is certainly a long time in office, especially in San Francisco, where a carefully chosen gesture in support of some cutting edge victim group can do wonders. (think Mayor Newsome and the cloak of invincibility his gay marriage advocacy gave him). A determined-to-stay Mirkarimi could find support in all sorts of mischief, whether in refusing to evict foreclosed homeowners, or declining to identify illegal immigrants in the jail, or what have you. 

Certainly the mayor and other city fathers are not exactly falling all over themselves demanding that Mirkarimi resign. Instead, the City Attorney is exploring the legal process that the mayor has to follow in case it crosses his mind to try to remove the sheriff from office. I guess simply demanding that the guy resign is too judgmental. 

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