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Suspended San Francisco sheriff loses reinstatement effort

April 19, 2012 |  4:36 pm

Ross Mirkarimi, right, and Eliana Lopez in January
A judge tentatively denied an attempt by elected San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to be reinstated to his job or receive pay while a city ethics panel investigates him.

Mirkarimi, 50, elected the keeper of San Francisco’s jails in November, has been suspended without pay after pleading guilty to false imprisonment in a domestic abuse case. He has argued that Mayor Ed Lee did not have authority to suspend him for an action that occurred a week before Mirkarimi was sworn in as sheriff.

Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to a false imprisonment misdemeanor rather than go to trial on charges stemming from a New Year’s Eve fight with his wife, Venezuelan telenovela star Eliana Lopez. Lopez suffered a bruise on her arm.

Superior Court Judge Harold E. Kahn said in a tentative ruling Thursday that Mirkarimi should make his arguments to San Francisco’s Ethics Commission and the Board of Supervisors. Kahn also denied Mirkarimi’s attempt to have his annual $199,000 salary reinstated.

If Kahn’s ruling stands, Mirkarimi will continue to be without a job while he defends himself before the city’s ethics panel, which will make recommendations about his future to the Board of Supervisors.

Mirkarimi was sentenced last month to three years of probation, 100 hours of public service and 52 weeks of domestic violence classes, and he was ordered to pay $590 in fines and fees.

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-- Maura Dolan

Photo: Ross Mirkarimi, right, and his wife, Eliana Lopez, walk away after speaking to reporters at City Hall in San Francisco in January. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

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