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US sheriff returns to ethics panel for 2nd day

US sheriff returns to ethics panel for 2nd day

A city attorney grilled San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi on Friday about his conversations with his wife and campaign manager days after he bruised his wife's arm in an alleged domestic violence incident.
It was Mirkarimi's second day testifying before the city's ethics commission, which is weighing his fitness for office. The panel also began hearing from Mayor Ed Lee, who suspended Mirkarimi without pay in March.
City officials allege that the sheriff directed his wife, Eliana Lopez, and campaign manager, Linnette Peralta Haynes, to dissuade a neighbor from talking about the incident.
The neighbor, Ivory Madison, had recorded a video of a tearful Lopez discussing the alleged abuse. She later turned the video over to police.
Mirkarimi, under questioning from Deputy City Attorney Peter Keith, said Friday that he remembered telling his wife after learning police were investigating the incident that she'd have to follow through with the process and couldn't "unring the bell."
Mirkarimi's woes began on the afternoon of Dec. 31 when he and his wife became involved in an argument over whether she could travel to her native Venezuela with their 3-year-old son.
Mirkarimi admitted bruising her arm with an overly firm grip. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment, and other misdemeanor charges were dropped. Mirkarimi was sentenced to probation and counseling.
The sheriff told the commission that in hindsight he wishes that he had a better strategy to deal with the media and subsequent fallout from his actions.
"It was an overwhelming event and continued to be an overwhelming event in the way I was branded," Mirkarimi said. "I was sad, humiliated. I lost my family."
This is the first San Francisco's five-member ethics panel has convened a trial-like hearing to determine whether an elected official should be removed from office. It will forward its recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, which needs the votes of nine of 11 members to remove Mirkarimi.