Judge Modifies Mirkarimi Stay Away Order, Removal Battle Rages On

By Robyn Hagan Cain on April 04, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Superior Court Judge Garrett Wong ruled Tuesday that embattled San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi can go back to his home for now. The Sheriff is still waiting for a court ruling on his job.

Mirkarimi has been embroiled in legal battles stemming from a domestic violence incident that occurred on New Year’s Eve last year.

Sheriff Mirkarimi and his wife, Eliana Lopez, had an argument on New Year's Eve that turned into a physical altercation. During the argument, Mirkarimi grabbed and bruised his Lopez's arm. The next day, Lopez told her neighbor, Ivory Madison, about the argument. Madison took a video of Lopez describing the incident, crying, and displaying her bruised arm. Madison reported the incident to the police, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Lopez refused to cooperate with investigators, and even tried to suppress the video under attorney-client privilege. The judge ruled that Lopez could not invoke the privilege because she was not a party to the case. Sheriff Mirkarimi subsequently struck a plea agreement, and was sentenced to one day in jail and three years' probation for false imprisonment in a domestic violence incident.

In addition to the sentence, Mirkarimi was subject to a stay away order that barred him from entering his home since he was arrested and charged in January. Judge Wong modified that order on Tuesday, permitting the Sheriff to go back to his home while his wife and son are out of the country. Mirkarimi had been staying with friends, reports ABC-7.

In addition to his domestic woes, Mirkarimi is also fighting an employment battle. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and City Attorney Dennis Herrera instituted suspension and removal proceedings against Mirkarimi last month after he refused to resign his post.

Mirkarimi is trying to skip an ethics hearing before the San Francisco Ethics Commission by asking the courts to step in and reinstate him. Mirkarimi is also asking for legal fees, reports the Bay Citizen. Mirkarimi's attorney will argue that Lee improperly suspended Mirkarimi because the domestic violence incident occurred before Mirkarimi took office, and did not interfere with his duties as sheriff.

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