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Suspended San Francisco sheriff loses reinstatement effort

This news story was published on April 20, 2012.
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By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times –

SAN FRANCISCO — A judge Thursday tentatively denied an attempt by San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to be reinstated to his job or be paid while a city ethics panel investigates him.

Mirkarimi, 50, elected in November, was 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 misdemeanor rather than go to trial on charges stemming from a New Year’s Eve fight with his wife, Venezuelan actress Eliana Lopez. Lopez’s arm was bruised.

Superior Court Judge Harold E. Kahn said 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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