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S.F. sheriff charged with domestic violence, must give up guns

January 13, 2012 |  5:58 pm


Photo: San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, right, and his wife Eliana Lopez speak to reporters at City Hall in San Francisco on Friday. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Five days after he was inaugurated as San Francisco County sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi was charged Friday with domestic violence, child endangerment and dissuading a witness, after a New Year’s Eve fight with his wife, a former Venezuelan telenovela star.

In announcing the charges against Mirkarimi, a former county supervisor, Dist. Atty. George Gascon said police are investigating the possibility that Mirkarimi might have been involved in earlier incidents of spousal abuse.

Gascon also said a judge is in the process of signing an emergency protective order that would bar Mirkarimi from his home and prohibit any contact between him and his family.

The order would also require the new sheriff to give up any and all firearms within 24 hours.

Eliana Lopez, Mirkarimi’s wife, “is being represented by an attorney, and we have not been able to talk to her,” Gascon said.

“While this case involves a high-profile elected official, we are treating this case as we would any of the hundreds of domestic violence cases we review and charge each year,” Gascon said.

At the same time that Gascon announced the charges at a packed news conference Friday afternoon, Mirkarimi and Lopez held their own briefing at his City Hall office, where he vowed to fight the charges and refused to step down from office.

“We believe that these charges are very unfounded and we will fight those charges,” Mirkarimi said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’m confident in the end that we will succeed.”


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-- Maria La Ganga and Lee Romney, reporting from San Francisco

Photo: San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and his wife, Eliana Lopez, speak to reporters at City Hall on Friday. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press