With District 9 Supervisor David Campos casting a deciding vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors moved to reinstate Ross Mirkarimi as Sheriff yesterday, despite Mirkarimi’s guilty plea to charges of false imprisonment, and despite the City Ethics Commission’s determination that Mirkarimi engaged in official misconduct.
The SF Chronicle reports:
Four members of the board voted against the motion to uphold the finding of the city Ethics Commission that Mirkarimi had committed official misconduct, an allegation that stemmed from a New Year’s Eve fight with his wife that resulted in him pleading guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment. The other seven supervisors voted with the mayor.
Lee needed nine of the 11 supervisors’ votes to oust Mirkarimi. Supervisors David Campos, John Avalos, Jane Kim and – in a major blow to Lee – the mayor’s appointee, Christina Olague, voted to reinstate Mirkarimi. The four said they condemned Mirkarimi’s grabbing his wife’s arm, but that it didn’t amount to official misconduct.
“I don’t believe that we should do anything to minimize how serious this was,” Campos said. “There is simply no justification for anyone grabbing another human being’s arm and bruising that arm.
“But that egregious misconduct does not fall within the definition of official misconduct,” he continued. “We must interpret this provision narrowly or open the door, open the door wide, for potential abuse.”
Campos’s attempt to parse some sort of meaningful distinction between “egregious misconduct” and “official misconduct” seems tenuous, to say the least. Even more troubling, however, is the rather obvious fact that despite Campos’s declared intention, voting to reinstate Mirkarimi as Sheriff is precisely the kind of gesture that minimizes the seriousness of Mirkarimi’s behavior. A therapist might even call it enabling. Campos is running unopposed in next month’s District 9 election. Yet for me, his handling of this matter is disqualifying.
Agree or disagree, Bernal neighbors and District 9 constituents are invited to discuss in the comments.
PHOTO: Ross Mirkarimi (center) confers with attorneys Shepard Kopp (left) and David Waggoner during yesterday’s hearing before the Board of Supervisors. San Francisco Chronicle photo by Jason Henry.