After almost nine hours of discussion and testimony, members of the Board of Supervisors finally prepared to vote on whether Ross Mirkarimi should be removed as sheriff at 9:00 last night. Under current Board rules, Supervisor Jane Kim casts the first vote.
Concluding that “I think it wasn’t shown that when the sheriff grabbed his wife that he used the power of his office to commit violence against her,” Kim voted against removal.
With the votes of progressive Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos in the bag, and with embattled District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague off the hook, no longer having to cast the decisive vote, the other left-leaning Supervisors up for reelection in November abandoned their former colleague and voted for his removal. The motion to strip Mirkarimi of his job lost by a vote of 7-4.
Mayor Ed Lee needed at least nine votes to make his removal of Mirkarimi permanent. Both Olague and Kim have established themselves as close allies of the Mayor, while Avalos and Campos have retained a more contentious relationship with him. In a statement following the vote, the Mayor said that he disagreed with the vote by the four board members.
“The facts clearly demonstrate that Ross Mirkarimi’s actions and his domestic violence-related conviction falls below the ethical conduct we expect of our elected Sheriff and constitutes official misconduct,” Lee said. “The Board’s decision returns a convicted domestic batterer to lead the Sheriff’s Office.”
Jim Meko, chair
SoMa Leadership Council